Farmer who created 'prairie' investigated over suspected EIA breach

A farmer who was accused of “industrial-scale environmental destruction” after clearing six miles of stone wall to create a ‘prairie’ is under investigation for a suspected breach of environmental impact assessment (EIA) regulations.

Farmer James Orr and his Fife-based company Pitlochie Farming Co, is being investigated by the Scottish government for a “suspected” breach of the Agriculture, Land Drainage and Irrigation Projects (Environmental Impact Assessment) (Scotland) Regulations 2017, a spokesman has confirmed. 

In June, following a Scottish government probe, Orr’s company was stripped of the majority of its EU-funded agri-environmental payments, which were used to maintain the unique stonewalls. The walls, known as drystane dykes, were erected in the early 1800s and provided a haven for wildlife as well as offering flood protection. 

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