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Farm waste, slurry & agriculture odours

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During the spring and in the summer after harvesting we frequently receive complaints concerning agricultural odours. Generally the practice of using manures and bio-solids into agricultural land is okay and is the best option for disposal. The spreading of pre-treated sewage sludge is also okay and considered the best practice for disposal.

Odour must be expected from time to time in Torridge, but spreading should always be done in accordance the guidance given in the DEFRA Code of Good Agricultural Practice for farmers, growers and land managers.

The Code advises the best conditions for spreading and farmers are advised to avoid spreading at weekends, bank holidays, in the evening or in fields close to and upwind of houses (unless it is solid manure that has been well composted, or slurry that is to be band spread, injected or has been treated to reduce odour).

If we become aware of unacceptable odours produced by someone not following the Code, an officer will contact the person(s) responsible for the spreading and enforcement action can be considered if necessary.

Unless odour persists for at least 24 hrs after spreading has been completed the council will not investigate

If you believe you are being unreasonably affected by agricultural activities please contact the Environmental Protection Team.


How often can someone muck spread?  There is no limit
Can they do it two days in a row?          Yes
How much can they spread?Please contact the Environment Agency
Who can muck spread?

There is no definite answer but some operations may need a licence from the Environment Agency

Where and what can be spread?See above
Are there any times spreading is not allowed?No
How valid is the guidance?

It is purely guidance.  It is not law but the Council would have more of a case for enforcement if the guidance has not been followed

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