A NORTH Devon farmer has been fined for dumping up to 100 tonnes of illegal waste.
Peter Ford was prosecuted by the Environment Agency after it received a report in June 2011 that waste was being tipped and burned on farmland at Chulmleigh.
Materials including asbestos roof tiles were found buried in a makeshift tip near a stream and where cows were feeding at Huntacott Farm.
Waste including old tyres, kitchen units, electrical wiring, glass sheets and a quantity of corrugated iron sheeting were found at the site.
There was also significant damage to nearby trees and bushes caused by burning of waste.
Some of the waste had partially blocked a stream and there were the remains of several burned tyres nearby.
In November 2011 the agency dug five trenches to expose the contents of the waste tip, which was three metres high in some places.
Further materials were discovered including concrete, plastics, wood, bricks, soils, foam insulation, a mattress, tarpaulin, electrical wiring, wire fencing and tiles.
The Environment Agency estimated between 50 –100 tonnes of waste had been illegally tipped.
In January 2012, Peter Ford admitted tipping waste at the farm including concrete blocks, stones and soil, but claimed the rest of it had been fly-tipped. He agreed to remove the waste by the end of October.
When the farm was inspected again in January this year the waste had not been removed.
Appearing at North Devon Magistrates’ Court, Ford was fined £3,000 and ordered to pay £3,000 costs after pleading guilty to an offence under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 of failing to comply with an Agency notice to remove waste.
Matt O’Brien, for the Environment Agency, said: “Farmers must not tip and illegally dispose of waste on their land, especially near streams, as any pollution can spread and harm the environment.
“The defendant had every opportunity to remove these wastes, but failed to do so and we were left with no alternative other than to prosecute.”