UPDATED: Phew, what’s that pong? Well, it might be human waste

What's causing Tring's stink?
What's causing Tring's stink?

A neighbour to a field covered in slurry that is causing Tring’s eye-watering pong claims the muck is human waste.

The market town’s nasty pong, initially put down to the pig slurry, has forced householders to take refuge inside and close their windows despite the warm temperatures.

Fed up Sharon Maxfield, who lives opposite the Icknield Way field - previously the base for Tring’s popular Canal Festival before the land was sold - said: “It is just sitting in the field festering. It is absolutley gross.

“It has been horrendous. You can’t put the washing out because the washing then stinks of poo and I cannot sit in my garden.”

She said she saw waste being spread on the field on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and on Monday.

In recent years the field has been used for agriculture but Sharon believes that disappointing crops has prompted the farmer to use human waste in a bid to improve the soil.

Today an official from Dacorum Borough Council visited the site.

Another Tring householder Nick Price said: “The whole of the town has been up in arms with whoever has decided to spread the fields in the hottest period of the year.”

The farmer responsible for the stink has not yet been tracked down but leader of Tring Town Council, Councillor John Allan, said they will be investigating the cause.

“It is quite unpleasant but I have no idea where it is coming from,” he said.

“The problem is that when there is quite a strong breeze it is difficult to find out where it is coming from.

“It is exactly the smell you get when people spread pig slurry onto a field, which they do and it is quite normal but not usually at this time of year.”

The most beneficial time to spread slurry is early in the growing season between February to April.

High Street cafe owner David Metcalfe said he has noticed the strong stink but it has not put off diners and people are still making use of Anusia Cafe’s outside eating area.

“We have got a little outside area but I don’t think it has affected it, but it is not very pleasant at all,” he said.

Dacorum Borough Council spokesman Madeleine Taggart-Smith said: “We are currently investigating this issue and are in discussions with Thames Water to determine whether it is sewage sludge that is being spread on the field in Tring.

“At the moment, investigations have not shown that any offences have been committed but we will continue to look into it.”

>Are you the farmer responsible for the smell? Call the newsroom on 01296 619779 or email thegazette@jpress.co.uk