21 October

Many villagers reported an obnoxious smell in the village on the evening of Sunday 4th October 2015. The smell was much stronger than usual farming smells and prompted some to be concerned about potential gas leaks. Parish Councillors reported the matter to the Environment Agency and Leeds City Council's Environmental Protection Team. 

This team contacted local farmers to identify the cause and the owner of New Laithe Farm on Harewood Avenue confirmed to them that he was spreading slurry in local fields that day. This is not illegal but the DEFRA code of practice expects farmers to inject the slurry into the soil or plough such fields within 24 hours. In this particular instance the farmer advised that the slurry was spread on fields which had not been ploughed for some time and therefore the ground was hard and overgrown with grass. He had no plans to cultivate the fields at this time of year.

The Environmental Protection Team advised the owner of the farm that in future he should manage the whole process from storage to application of slurry on the land. He has no plans to carry out any such operations until next year.

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