A clear-up operation is underway following more mindless vandalism in our village – this time causing serious environmental pollution at a farm south of Rushcliffe Country Park.
The incident was discovered on Monday morning when a partner in the Ruddington arable farming business found its large irrigation pond had been illegally accessed and pumping equipment there damaged.
“Over the weekend, Sunday evening at a guess, a group of people must’ve been partying at the pond” the partner told RUDDINGTON.info. “As I was walking towards the pond, at about 6am, I suddenly became aware of a strong smell of fuel. I turned into the pond area and saw that someone had broken up some pallets to try and make a fire next to the irrigation pump and its fuel tank. There were broken beer bottles and lager cans with their tops sliced off spread around the area and in the water. There was even a pair of ripped up underpants?!!” It was then the cause of the strong smell was discovered: “For some reason someone had cut through the pipe on the fuel tank and diesel had been spilling into the pond – at least all night! The pond water had gone from clear to black with up to 300 gallons of diesel in it.”
Contractors are now skimming the pond and pumping out the pollution. The clear-up costs are likely to run into thousands of pounds – with crops at the farm this summer set to suffer. The farm owners say it will be a long time before the pond will be suitable for irrigating food produce again – or as a home for all the wildlife it previously sustained.
The village business stresses it has no issue with walkers crossing its land: “There are way-marked public footpaths criss-crossing our farm which are enjoyed by many people, from Ruddington, local villages and further afield. However, the pond is on completely private land without any public rights of way. Since lockdown, like many farmers, we have experienced a significant amount of trespassing by certain members of the public who have been roaming all over the land on foot and by bicycle.”
This latest trespass and damage has been reported to Nottinghamshire Police. Inspector Craig Berry, who’s responsible for neighbourhood policing in the Rushcliffe Area, confirms: “We are investigating an incident of vandalism at a farm in Asher Lane, Ruddington, which has caused considerable damage and inconvenience. This was a mindless and reckless act and I am determined to catch the people responsible. So, if you saw or are aware of a group of people gathering in this area at any point over the weekend, please let us know by calling our non-emergency 101 number, quoting incident reference 75 of the 22nd of June.”
You can also report information about this crime online >>HERE<< or by ‘phoning Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.