An agricultural expert is warning that highly-toxic run-off from local farms could add to the pollution problem in Yorkshire waterways this summer.

Local farmers should urgently check their silage clamps in the wake of a string of hefty fines for silage pollution, according to Harry Appleton-Metcalfe at agricultural insurance broker Lycetts.

Farmers across the UK have recently been ordered to pay fines ranging from £5,000 to £20,000 after silage clamp leaks polluted local watercourses.

“With the silage season upon us, it is vital that farmers check their silage clamps now - before the first cut - to prevent highly-toxic run-off from entering nearby waterways,” said Mr Appleton-Metcalfe.

“Silage effluent, which can be up to 200 times more toxic than untreated sewage, poses a significant threat to aquatic life, wildlife, and broader ecosystems.”

The Rivers Trust annual ‘State of Our Rivers’ report revealed in February this year that agricultural pollution contributes to 62 per cent of waterways in England failing to meet good standards for chemical and biological pollution.

“It’s essential that all parts of the silage storage system, from pipes to tanks, are well maintained,” explained Mr Appleton-Metcalfe. “Silage clamps and all drainage systems should be carefully inspected checked to make sure they are airtight and leak-free.”