Farmer who built track through SSSI fined £600

A farmer has been issued a rare fine for laying a track through a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) without Natural England’s consent.

Farmer Brian Eddon, from Pickering, pleaded guilty to three offences under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 – a rarely used piece of legislation for prosecuting loss or damage to habitat.

Eddon appeared in West York Magistrates on 7 May and was fined £600 and ordered to pay £300 in legal costs for laying the track, felling trees and carrying out “significant earthworks” in the Newtondale SSSI – a 925.5 hectare protected site valued for its post-glacial valley landscape comprising woodland, grassland, fen, valley mire and moorland edge.

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