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Villagers attacked by swarms of flies in Whissendine

Dr Bruce Lawrie, of Hortons Lane, Whissendine, with evidence of the fly infestation in the village EMN-140627-143533001

Dr Bruce Lawrie, of Hortons Lane, Whissendine, with evidence of the fly infestation in the village EMN-140627-143533001

An infestation of flies in Whissendine has prompted a public meeting to be held for villagers to discuss the problem.

Residents have been unable to keep windows and doors open during hot weather because of the huge swarms.

The flies are thought to be coming from chicken sheds at Loodall Farm.

Farmer Anthony Watchorn has been issued with an ‘abatement notice’ by Rutland County Council requesting him to deal with the issue by spraying his sheds more effectively or face paying a £20,000 fine.

Dr Bruce Lawrie, of Hortons Lane, said: “People all over the village are tearing their hair out over this.

“It’s been going on for a few years now but this is by far the worst year so far.

“You can count these flies in their hundreds.

“We left some flypaper up when we went away on holiday and when we returned the flypaper was black with dead flies.”

Dr Lawrie said the worst affected area of the village was the part nearest to the chicken farm. This included the top end of Whissendine from Foxhill to Hall Close and from the brook to The Nook.

He said villagers predicted there would be issues like this when Mr Watchorn got planning permission, after an appeal, to build his second chicken shed on his farm in 2007.

Villagers’ concerns will be aired at a public meeting being held in the village hall next Friday (July 4) at 7.30pm. Officials from the county council will also be attending.

A council spokesman said the farmer had in the past taken stringent steps to ensure there was no fly problem.

Now Mr Watchorn has been ordered by the council to carry out a further spray of his sheds under the supervision of environmental health officers.

“A council director has already been out to meet with concerned local residents and recognises that those living in the homes nearest to the farm are suffering significant distress and are understandably frustrated,” said the council spokesman.

“We are also conscious that the local farmer acknowledges controls were not applied sufficiently this year.

“He has already taken preventative measures to bring the current situation under control, and has again pledged to do everything he can to make sure it does not happen again.”

 

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