Villagers near Skegness declare war on flies

Residents in Sloothby who are unhappy with the number of flies in their village. Photo: MSKP-090717-23 ANL-171007-115622001
Residents in Sloothby who are unhappy with the number of flies in their village. Photo: MSKP-090717-23 ANL-171007-115622001

Residents of a village near Skegness who say a plague of flies is making their lives a misery are petitioning for action from East Lindsey District Council (ELDC).

Paul Briggs, who built a barn conversion property in Sloothby four years ago, has gathered signatures for an ‘open letter’ to be presented to ELDC and says he has also contacted MP Victoria Atkins to help find a solution to a problem he believes has been building for 17 years.

The council said it is aware of the problem but has not been able to track down the source.

However, villagers say they are not happy that the issue has been allowed to go on for so long.

Mr Briggs, whose property in Hasthorpe Road is situated near three chicken sheds, said: “I’m not the only one who has complained to East Lindsey District Council.

“The problem gets really bad in the summer but by the time the council investigates the farms in the area they are unable to find a cause.

“I started asking other people in the village if they had a problem and couldn’t believe it.

“It took me two-and-a-half hours to go around 50 houses and collect signatures on the petition letter we have drawn up for East Lindsey District Council because everyone has a fly story.

“We didn’t move to the country to have to shut our doors and windows. Visit anyone and you’ll see a fly swatter there ready.

“My wife is always having to clean fly poo off the window frames and kitchen units and I’ve had to throw away expensive canvasses because they have been ruined.”

Another resident, who lives just up the road, recorded a video after attempting to sit outside.

She said: “I videoed it because the flies were annoying me so much.

“I never open the windows because you get half a dozen in before you know it.”

Susan Andrews, who moved to the village three years ago, uses a zapper to get rid of any flies that manage to get in. She said: “I knew there were flies in the country but wasn’t expecting this many.

“I zap and my husband hoovers up. That’s our life.”

l The Standard spoke to Bonnets Dairy Farm, whose chicken sheds are near Mr Briggs’ property.

A spokesman said: “We have to keep the flies down are doing everything we can to keep in line with East Lindsey District Council regulations.

“We have flies here, too – it’s a country thing. Flies are part of life here.”

Alford farmers Daniel and Sarah Louise Fairburn of L B Fairburn, said: “As we too are residents at Hasthorpe, we experience first hand how distressing the fly problem is for our neighbours and we want to eradicate the source as quickly as possible.

“We feel the best way to do this is to work collaboratively with both our neighbours and ELDC.

“We can assure everyone affected that since we moved our family business direct to retail we have invested heavily in the latest units and technology and work to the most stringent procedures possible to ensure these types of issues aren’t generated on our farms.

“We support our community wholeheartedly in resolving this matter and we have also joined the petition in the hope that we can resolve the fly problem in our village as quickly as possible.”

David Dodds, East Lindsey’s Deputy Environmental Health Manager, said: “The Council is aware of the concerns raised by residents of Sloothby in relation to the fly issues they are experiencing. As part of our investigation into the concerns we have visited a number of premises in the area but as yet no single cause of a significant fly infestation has been identified. We are continuing to investigate the matter.”