Ballymena farm business fined £2,500 for reseeding uncultivated land
A Dungiven farm business has been fined £2,500 in court for ploughing and reseeding uncultivated and without permission.
McCloskey Livestock Ltd., of Teeavan Road, Dungiven, was convicted at Limavady Magistrates Court sitting at Ballymena on September 15, 2021.
The business was sentenced for one offence under the Environmental Impact Assessment (Agriculture) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2007.
During 2019 and 2020, McCloskey Livestock Ltd. conducted an uncultivated land project without a screening decision or consent from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).
The business also removed linear features from the landscape, including townland boundaries.
The department said it considered the works to have had a “significant adverse impact” on the environment.
“As well as damage and destruction to semi-natural areas important for biodiversity, the damage to large areas of peatland will result in the loss of a significant carbon-capture sink, i.e. a loss of Natural Capital,” a statement from DAERA read.
Uncultivated land projects include works to improve the agricultural productivity of lands that are defined as ‘uncultivated lands’ or that are semi-natural areas.