Farmer forced to burn £8,000 worth of crops after ‘aeroplane scatters human waste across 25 acres of land’
A farmer was ordered to burn £8,000 worth of crops after human waste was found strewn across his land.
Ian Clegg was horrified to discover faeces and sanitary towels dumped in his fields when he went to tend to his livestock.
He believes it may have fallen from an aeroplane.
An investigation has now been launched into how the waste came to be dumped on Brooklands Farm, near Kettering in Northamptonshire.
‘I went out shepherding with my son at about 5pm on Tuesday and we found the stuff spread over an area of about 25 acres,’ Mr Clegg said.
‘It’s spread all across my fields which were growing animal feed which we have been told by the vets we have to dig up and burn now. It’s destroyed £8,000 worth of my crops, at a conservative estimate.’
He said he had been forced to move all his livestock and have animals checked over by vets.
‘It’s my very livelihood at stake here,’ he said.
‘We don’t have a spare £8,000 to pay for winter feed. We’ve been told by the Environment Agency we won’t be able to use the field again until the spring.
It’s a major incident covering a vast area. I’ve had to move my sheep and cattle indoors and have them all checked over by vets at great expense.
‘I have heard of ice falling from aircraft but never this. I couldn’t believe my eyes, it was a scene of devastation.’
Officers from the Environment Agency were on the scene yesterday morning amid fears the pollution may have affected a stream which runs through the site.
An officer has been to the site to check the water course for pollution and luckily there appears to be none. A lot of the waste seems to have washed away overnight in the heavy rain,’ a spokesman said.
‘At the moment we understand the waste has come from a plane, although that is not something we have ever heard of before.’
Civil Aviation Authority spokesman Richard Taylor confirmed the organisation had launched an investigation to try to find out which planes were in the area at the time.
‘I have to stress that aircraft do not flush their toilets into the air during flight,’ he added.
‘There can be faults with the pipes that carry water through the aircraft, a washer may wear out and fail before it is replaced, but this would only release water rather than solid waste and the planes would be so high up that it would immediately turn to ice.
‘We are investigating using radar records to see what planes were in the area at the time, the difficulty is we don’t have an exact time that the waste landed.
‘In incidents where we can identify the aircraft involved, we write to the airline first of all to investigate whether it was their aircraft and there was a fault.
‘We cannot prosecute airlines ourselves for this, but people who have suffered damage can pursue them for costs and the airline’s insurance would cover this.’
The authority confirmed the airspace above Kettering was busy, with planes flying into Stansted, Luton and East Midlands Airports and a trans-atlantic route at 30,000 feet.