A Dorset farm partnership has agreed to pay £4,000 to a charity after slurry discharged onto land at the site went into a river.

M.P. and P.M. Perrett of Shortwood Farm, Mappowder volunteered to make a payment to the Wessex Rivers Trust to support the river affected under the Environment Agency’s Environmental Undertaking arrangements.

These are civil sanctions available as an alternative to prosecution.

The Environment Agency said slurry discharged from a hydrant at the farm, saturating the receiving field and running off into the River Lydden. This incident was identified during April and May last year using remote telemetry in the watercourse.

The offence was one of operating without or other than in accordance with an environmental permit (water discharge activity) – Regulation 38(1). 

The Agency said the farmers took prompt action to stop further pollution once they were aware of the situation. 

In addition to paying £4,000 to Wessex Rivers Trust, the partnership offered to implement a number of measures to prevent further incidents.  They also paid the Environment Agency’s investigation costs.

Environment Officer, Beth Moore, said: “We consider the environmental impact of all incidents when taking enforcement action.

"This incident continued over a significant period of time, impacting on the water quality of the River Lydden.

"The partnership took prompt action to stop further pollution once aware of the situation. 

"Environmental Undertakings enable penalties to be directed back towards the environment that has been affected.”