Farmer Has Left a Blot on Ulster's Landscape

Article excerpt

ULSTER'S farming community has been rightly hailed in the past as the custodians and protectors of the land, and rightly so.

Many go way beyond simply tending the ''working'' parts of their farms " engaging in environmental and wildlife-friendly activities which will ensure that future generations reap the benefits.

It is particularly disappointing, therefore, that one farmer has been found guilty of abusing the land so badly that it will be years before the full extent of the damage is known.

David Edwin Allingham, from Slattinagh, Co Fermanagh, yesterday suffered the shame of becoming the first member of the farming community to be jailed for running a dump on his property. His wife, Freda, received a four-month sentence, suspended for two years.

Investigators from the Department of Environment found he had some 4,500 cubic metres of biodegradable waste, most of it from homes in the Republic, illegally dumped on his land.

Judge Babington put the extent of the dump into context when he told Enniskillen Crown Court: ''To put this into perspective, a small district council area, such as Moyle District Council, would produce 10,000 cubic metres a year.''

He added: ''It is surprising that a farmer, someone who supposedly husbands the land, is prepared to allow this material to be deposited on his land " material which will only damage it and the surrounding environment. …