A Herefordshire farmer has been jailed for 12 months for damaging a protected stretch of the River Lugg. John Price was disqualified from acting as a company director for three years. The Environment Agency estimated that Price caused £600,000 worth of damage after he used a bulldozer to reprofile the river and its banks in Kingsland, near Leominster.
Price hired diggers and bulldozers to illegally rip up trees along the banks of the river, turning a traditional tree-lined river into a canal" when he removed gravel and silt on the banks of one of the UK's most important salmon rivers, said District Judge Ian Strongman.
Image: Environment Agency/Natural England
Charges against the farmer were brought by the Environment Agency and Natural England, which said the habitats of otters, Kingfishers, and trout were also destroyed. The damage was described as the "worst case of riverside destruction" seen by the organizations, and they added it could take several decades to be fully restored.
Price was also told to pay more than £1.2m in court and restoration costs.