Muck Spreading

A common cause of complaints is agricultural odours. The process of muck spreading is a key factor in successful farming which is part and parcel of living in the countryside. The activity is often dictaed by the weather, and positions of crops and can coincide with warmer days when people may have windows open or may be enjoying their gardens.

Almost always complaints are associated with normal and reasonable farming activities, such as the spreading of manure on farmland. Muck spreading is recognised as standard agricultural practice and odour can be expected from time to time. Odours usually last for a short period of time, and farmers are encouraged to use best practice whilst spreading muck in their fields.

Defra's 'Codes of Good Agricultural Practice for the Protection of Water, Air and Soil' provides advice on best practice that farmers can take to minimise odours from muck spreading.

The Environmental Protection Team would be unlikely to investigate odour complaints relating to the spreading of manure on land unless the smell is excessive or prolonged.

Recycled Sewage Sludge (Biosolids) from Sewage Treatment Works

The spreading of recycled sewage sludge (biosolids) is a perfectly lawful activity and considered the best practicable environmental option for managing treated sewage sludge arising from sewage treatment works. There may be an odour, for short periods of time, while the biosolids are moved, stockpiled or ploughed into fields.

Odours caused by the storage of recycled sewage sludge on agricultural land should be reported to the Environment Agency on 0800 807060.

Odours caused by the spreading of recycled sewage sludge on agricultural land should be reported to the Environmental Protection Team on 01642 774774.
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