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Taking water illegally costs man more than £7,000

Posted by Tracy Seward

Private fishing lake owner Michael Yould has been fined £3,300 for illegally taking water from a stream in an area of ‘potential drought’ in Lincolnshire.

Spalding Magistrates’ Court heard that an estimated 806 cubic metres of water were abstracted from Blue Gowt Drain over six days in May last year, just weeks before the Secretary of State declared the area in drought. This equated to just under a third of an Olympic sized swimming pool.

Mrs Claire Corfield, prosecuting for the Environment Agency, said Yould was seen pumping water from the drain onto the land. “It appeared to the internal drainage board member of staff who witnessed it that the water was being used to water trees and top up the lake,” she said.

Yould, who owns Clay Lakes at Pode Hole, said he had taken water only for the trees and shrubs. He claimed it had not drained to the lake as it was bunded. He told investigating officers he thought water shortages in the area affected reservoirs and not dykes.

He was also ordered to pay full costs of £3,873.

Environment Agency Officer Rachel Parker said illegal water abstraction hampered the Agency’s ability to manage water resources.

“At a time when there had been unusually low rainfall, it was essential that water in the area was managed sensibly and Mr Yould would not have been allowed a licence at that time even if he had applied for one.

“We all have a part to play in conserving water at this time.”

Yould pleaded guilty to Between 18 May 2011 to 26 May 2011 at Clay Lakes, Pode Hole, Spalding, Lincolnshire you did abstract water from a source of supply, namely the Blue Gowt Drain, without an abstraction licence granted for the purpose by the Environment Agency.

Contrary to section 24(1)(a) and 24(4)(a) of the Water Resources Act 1991.

Environment Agency
April 2012

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