A sheep farmer has slammed the Met Office for letting off numerous weather balloons with no regard for where they land.
Emma Cartledge, of Ashbourne, Derbyshire, was in the process of turning out 200 cows and lambing 400 ewes last week when she noticed the fallen device in her field with grazing stock.
She accused the Met Office of ‘not giving a damn’ about the balloon which it suggested was made up of decomposable materials.
“There is no chance of anything here decomposing; there is so much rubber and plastic,” Mrs Cartledge said.
“They have about 30 metres of string attached to them with a large plastic bag and plastic monitoring device.
“Luckily we found it and were able to move it in good time but anything could have eaten it.”
Mrs Cartledge said she wanted to warn other farmers about the incident as she was never aware of the devices and worried others may also be affected.
She said: “I rang the Met Office and they said hundreds of these things go up at all times of year, land in fields and in the sea and the Government is well aware of what happens.
“But we farmers are never told to look-out for them on our land.”
A Met Office spokesman said: “It is quite unusual for people to find our balloons and radiosondes, the little box connected to the balloon, however if anyone does find one they can be returned to the Met Office to be recycled.
“We have greatly reduced the amount of radiosondes we use over the years as our computer modelling has advanced, however we still need to collect real data in order to provide the public with accurate weather forecasts.
“We use this data to help improve and verify our forecasts which are very important for keeping both the public well-informed and the agricultural community safe and productive.”