Contractor dumped 5,000 tonnes of waste in newt habitat
A contractor has been fined £50,000 after dumping over 5,000 tonnes of soil, stone, brick and concrete into a habitat for great crested newts.
Hereford Magistrates' Court heard how John Jones Civil Engineering illegally deposited the waste in two land hollows at Bage Farm, Madley, Herefordshire between July 2014 and October 2014.
The dumping resulted in the disturbance, injury and killing of some of the newt population.
The contractor had a previous caution for environmental offences committed in 2010 and 2011.
In mitigation, John Jones Civil Engineering's barrister said the company had pleaded guilty to the offence and had no previous convictions.
He also stated that the newt population had thrived in the time following the offence.
In addition to the fine the company was ordered to pay, following a charge bought by the Environment Agency under the Environmental Permitting (England & Wales) Regulations 2010, the company also had to pay prosecution costs of £50,000.
Environment officer Lyndon Essex, said: "Waste crime is a serious offence with tough penalties as it can damage the environment and undermine those who operate legally. This case sends out a clear message that we will not hesitate to take action to ensure the protection of the environment."