Highlands & Islands

Caithness farmer fined for mound of waste earth

Wick Sheriff Court
Image caption William Gunn was fined at Wick Sheriff Court

A farmer has been fined for allowing soil to be added to a mound of earth on his land, visible from a tourist route to John O'Groats.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) said William Gunn, from Quoys of Reiss, Wick, had flouted waste management regulations.

The agency found 20,000 tonnes of subsoil and other waste had been deposited illegally.

Gunn was fined £2,800 at Wick Sheriff Court.

He had been accused of allowing waste to be deposited at his farm between September and November 2005 without having a licence to do so.

Sepa followed up complaints from the public last year that the mound had been left on his land unattended since 2005.

David Robinson, Sepa's investigating officer, said: "Although there has been no apparent pollution caused in this case, there is an environmental impact associated with the height of the mound.

"The mound of waste is adjacent to the main Wick to John O'Groats' road, in a flat landscape visible by passing motorists on what is a main tourist route.

"If developers, building contractors or waste disposal contractors got the idea that it was easy to dispose of waste in this way such events would be more common, and the impact of the waste deposits considerable."

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