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Landscape Gardener fined for fly tipping waste onto Rixton Clay Pits a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)

Christopher McVey, a Landscape Gardener from Ramsbottom in Lancashire has been fined a total of £4,065.81 by District Judge Knight sitting at Halton Magistrates’ Court, on Friday 6th November, for fly tipping garden construction waste onto Rixton Clay Pits which is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) in Warrington.

Rixton Clay Pits is one of the most important SSSIs in Cheshire and is noted for its habitat of fen, swamp, meadow and wet woodland. The site also supports a wide range of species and in particular, hosts the largest population of great crested newts in Cheshire.

Christopher McVey excavated a garden in Manchester Road, Warrington and tipped tons of waste onto the site. Warrington Borough Council staff and Natural England were alerted when the large mound of waste was discovered on the site. The council’s enforcement team then carried out an investigation and was able to proceed with a prosecution.

McVey pleaded guilty to illegally depositing the waste under the Environmental Protection Act, 1990.

Judge Knight said that McVey had been “negligent in his actions and carried out the dumping of the waste without any authority”. She fined him £500 and ordered him to pay costs, victim surcharge ad compensation order bringing the total to £4,065.81.

Cllr Judith Guthrie, executive board member for environment and public protection, said:

“We simply do not tolerate this kind of environmental crime in our town. We worked closely with Natural England to be able to prosecute this case and it is a clear message that people cannot abuse our green spaces and Sites of Special Scientific Interest and we will take action when necessary. We are committed to maintaining and protecting all our parks and green spaces for our residents to enjoy.”

Mike Burke, Natural England’s Area Manager said: “It’s always a disappointment when Sites of Special Scientific are damaged. It means that some of England’s most important wildlife has been destroyed. We hope that the affected area will now be able to recover as far as possible and look forward to working closely with Warrington Borough Council to minimise the impact of the waste on the affected area”.

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