More trees will be felled after major incident near Bardney

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A company near Bardney have felled hundreds of trees after a major pollution incident in the River Witham last year.

Omex Agriculture Limited claimed responsibility for the incident which killed more than 100,000 fish after an ‘accidental leak of fertiliser’.

A resident contacted the Horncastle News after he noticed at least two square acres of trees had been felled from New Park Wood, which borders Omex.

A Forestry Commission (FC) spokesperson said: “In March 2018, an incident resulted in pollution in the River Witham and ancient woodland New Park.

“The threat to the water environment is now contained and our current focus is on removing all the pollutant from the site.

“The felling of some trees in New Park Wood is necessary to make the site safe and allow access for the clean-up operation.

“The felling was licensed by the FC after a period of public consultation.”

Following a fertiliser leak, OMEX volunteered to carry out the remediation work, which includes tree felling and soil removal.

More than 100 trees across the site have been impacted by the spill.

The soil in New Park Woods needs to be rescued as a priority and made as healthy as possible to ensure future growth of trees.

It is a condition of the felling licence, provided by the FC, that the area be returned to woodland once the operation is complete.

The FC and the EA have engaged regularly with the local council and stakeholders to keep them informed about developments.

The EA has also issued OMEX with a ‘notice of liability’ under the Environmental Damage (Prevention and Remediation) Regulations 2015.

An EA spokesman added: “Our priority is helping the River Witham recover to its natural, healthy state as soon as possible.

“Omex have submitted a proposal to restore the river, which we are currently reviewing to make sure it represents the best results for the environment.

“Meanwhile, our criminal investigations into the pollution continue, and we’ll make a decision on further enforcement actions once they’re complete.”