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Farmer forced out of business due to Environment Agency watercourse 'neglect'

Peter Walmsley said he had been embroiled in a 20-year row with the Environment Agency


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Frequent flooding has forced Peter Walmsley out of business
Frequent flooding has forced Peter Walmsley out of business

A poultry farmer says he has been forced out of business due to the Environment Agency’s (EA) decision not to maintain a nearby watercourse.

 

Peter Walmsley said he had been battling with the EA for more than 20 years but had now reached ‘breaking point’..

 

“Floods have decimated my poultry buildings and now my house is collapsing due to subsidence,” said Mr Walmsley.

 

“It’s very dangerous at the moment.”

 

The 73-year-old, of Grizedale Lee Farm, Hambleton, North Yorkshire, was forced to shut down production after his buildings were flooded several times. In one incident, 100,000 birds drowned.

 

Mr Walmsley said the final straw came when the EA reneged on a previous offer to enforce dyke clearance along part of the Peg’s Pool main river dyke.

 

He blamed the situation changes in drainage practice across this area of Wyre, the closure of the National Rivers Authority’s local drainage board and the silting up of local waterways with no enforcement action.

 

An Environment Agency spokesman said work was originally scheduled for December but had to be postponed due to wet weather.

 

He added: "Desiliting work and channel work is scheduled to begin at Peg’s Dyke next week."


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