Farmer in court over foul smell from farm

A cattle farmer is due in court this week to challenge a legal notice that called for him to take steps to tackle the odour coming from his farm.

Wychavon District Council served an abatement notice on 570ha Wadborough Park Farm, near Stoulton, Worcestershire, in February.

The notice was served to tackle allegations of odour arising from, among other things, cattle and storage of slurry waste.

The notice gave cattle farmer and landowner Henry Rodenhurst and his family 90 days to take steps to stop the problem or face further possible enforcement action.

The council said it had received thousands of complaints from residents and businesses about a foul stench that had been destroying their lives.

Councillor Paul Middlebrough, leader of Wychavon District Council, said: “We believe this farm in Stoulton is the source of this smell, which for the past 18 months has been plaguing residents in the Stoulton and Wadbrough area.

“Those of us who live in rural areas expect a bit of smell from farms, but this has got to an unacceptable level and is due to many reasons, made worse by the mismanagement of cow manure and slurry.”

Mr Rodenhurst’s son, Ian, defended his farm, saying: “It is just solid muck that the farm is spreading from about 3,500 cattle a year.

“There is about one-quarter of the population trying to work and the rest are trying to stop us.”

Mid-Worcestershire MP Peter Luff said he believed the case was unprecedented in the UK.

A pre-trial review of the legal appeal was due to take place on Thursday (16 August) at Worcester Magistrates’ Court.