THE owners of a dairy farm near Crewkerne have been ordered to pay almost £20,000 for polluting fresh water.

Faw Bakers Kingston Farms Ltd, based at Leaze Farm, Haselbury Plucknett, pleaded guilty in court to committing the offence at Rushywood Farm.

Taunton Magistrates' Court heard on Monday (February 5) that the company caused "a water discharge activity" on or before February 9, 2022.

It led to "the discharge of poisonous, noxious or polluting matter from Leaze Farm, Haselbury Plucknett, Crewkerne, Somerset, into inland fresh waters" without the authorisation of an environmental permit.

Magistrates fined Faw Bakers Kingston Farms £14,000, along with a £190 victim surcharge and costs of £3,220.41.

The company further admitted a charge of failing to ensure that silage was stored in accordance with Regulation 3(1) of the Water Resources (Control of Pollution) (Silage, Slurry and Agricultural Fuel Oil) (England) Regulations 2010 at Rushywood Farm, Haselbury Plucknett.

That offence attracted a fine of £2,000.

The total court bill of £19,410.41 must be paid by March 4, the court rules.