Magistrates have ordered the owner of a family run farming business in Langley Burrell to pay £9,000 for polluting streams linked to the River Avon.

JD Spencer and Sons, who own Manor Farm, were charged with repeatedly polluting two brooks with slurry, in a case brought by the Environment Agency yesterday.

Environment Agency officers visited the farm on five separate occasions between April 17 and December 21 last year after receiving complaints from neighbouring farmers, North West Wiltshire Magistrates Court heard.

Each time, they found the business had allowed slurry to pollute brooks on its land, and on one occasion dirty water slurry had heavily polluted a stretch of the Chissell Brook which runs into the River Avon.

Elizabeth Spiller from the Environment Agency said this should act as a warning to all farmers.

“It doesn’t matter if you didn’t mean to do it, polluting watercourses is illegal, and you could be brought to court if the pollution comes from your farm,” she said.

“Farming the land is a huge responsibility and farmers have a special obligation to ensure their businesses don’t harm our environment.

“JD Spencer and Sons has now undertaken some building works to improve their dirty water system. Like many farmers they will need extra storage capacity for dirty water and slurry if they are to comply with new regulations that came into force earlier this year.”

The owners of the family run business pleaded guilty to three separate offences of causing polluted water to enter a controlled watercourse at magistrates court.

They were fined £5,300 and ordered to pay £3,732 costs.