A Dorset farmer has been fined after effluent from his leaky silage clamp killed more than 400 fish in a river.

Jasper Miller, 52, of Lower Fifehead Farm in Fifehead St Quintin, pleaded guilty to causing an incident which saw the River Divelish, a tributary of the River Stour, polluted for more than three kilometres between June 25 and 29, 2019.

The court heard from the Environment Agency that a member of the public reported seeing dead fish and officers went to investigate.

Tracking the pollution upstream, they eventually found silage effluent discharging from a pipe connected to the farm.

Dye tracing established the link between the silage clamp and the pipe.

Miller admitted that the wrong pipe had been unblocked, leading to the discharge.

To mitigate the impact he began removing polluted water for proper disposal by tanker.

Sara Durden of the Environment Agency said: "We are grateful to the person who alerted us to the pollution which set in motion the events that led to stopping this incident.

"We take incidents of agricultural pollution very seriously and while most cases can be resolved by following guidance, we will take enforcement if the offence is serious.

"This incident could have been avoided if proper maintenance and checks to the drainage system had been made prior to the silage clamp being filled."

Miller was fined £1,300 and ordered to pay costs of £6,079 at North Somerset Magistrates Court on June 14, 2021.