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Farron predicts a big stink and urges ministers to think again!

December 18, 2007 3:00 PM

Tim Farron has today put DEFRA Secretary Hilary Benn on the spot over government plans that could lead to a big stink every spring.

Government plans to introduce Nitrate Vulnerable Zones - including a significant area in Mr Farron's constituency - would place a ban on muck-spreading throughout the winter. At present, farmers spread slurry on a little by little basis as and when the soil and weather conditions make it safe to do so, but the new government rules mean that farmers will understandably be forced to unload their slurry in one go all at the same time at the end of winter. This will create the most obnoxious anti social 'big stink'.

Proposals also mean that many farmers will have pay for new enlarged slurry storage facilities out of their own pockets - an average of ?40,000 per farm.

Tim Farron said:

"We recognise that it is very important to tack nitrate pollution but the evidence is clear that farmers are already doing this and that these proposals are unnecessary and extreme - they will lead to serious additional hardship for local farmers and will create an annual big stink, for no reasonable purpose!"