‘Disappointingly low’: Natural England spends £60k netting £600 fine for SSSI destruction

A two-year investigation into the destruction of a site of special scientific interest (SSSI) in Yorkshire, which resulted in a £600 fine, has cost Natural England £61,000, with the regulator only able to claw back £300 in costs, an internal memo shows.

In July, Brian Eddon, a farmer from Pickering, was fined for building a track through the Newtondale SSSI under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 –  a rarely used piece of legislation for prosecuting loss or damage to habitat.

Natural England first issued information about Eddon’s prosecution at the end of August, but did not make public the amount of money involved in the prosecution or details of Eddon’s activity.

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