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No Smoke without Fire!

The Environment Agency (EA) is cracking down on the illegal burning of horse manure in Ryedale, North Yorkshire.

Steve Richardson from the EA has launched the campaign after twice calling the fire brigade to muck heap fires in Ryedale.

Horseandhounds.co.uk reports that Other reported incidents in the area have involved improper storage and spreading of large quantities of horse manure.

Mr Richardson told H&H: "People have an obligation to make sure the storage and disposal of manure doesn't cause pollution."

He said the campaign aims to raise awareness of the rules surrounding muck heaps among farmers and stable owners.

Information packs are currently being assembled containing waste disposal and storage guidance, which Mr Richardson will deliver personally to Ryedale stable yards.

"I'm trying to get rid of any confusion," said Mr Richardson. "Once we get to the stage when people know it's illegal, then there's no excuse for it. We would rather give the advice than be forced to prosecute"

As horse manure is officially classed as commercial waste, the deliberate burning of muck heaps is a prosecutable offence.

However, properly disposing of manure has resulted in yet more expenditure for equestrian establishments.

Richard Lingwood of Norton Grove Stud, Malton, says, "We've had to buy a trailer and it costs £120 a week to have it emptied. We try to keep our prices down but have been forced to raise fees to cover our costs.

"It's most annoying to think that when we started we used to be paid for our manure, now it's a complete farce."