The country countess who created a stink: Wife of 9th Earl Bathurst apologises after her country estate sprays human excrement on to fields
- Countess Bathurst, of grade-1 listed Cirencester Park, apologised ‘for the pong’ after her country estate sprayed human excrement on to the fields
- Locals said smell was like ‘rotten fish and ammonia’ and stopped them from sunbathing in their gardens
- A contractor spread treated sewage from Wessex Water on the estate’s fields
A countess has had to apologise ‘for the pong’ after her country estate sprayed human excrement on to the fields.
Locals said the smell was like ‘rotten fish and ammonia’ and prevented them sunbathing in their gardens yesterday.
Countess Bathurst, of grade-I listed Cirencester Park in Gloucestershire, the second wife of the 9th Earl Bathurst, admitted on Facebook: ‘We have to hold our hands up to this one – the farm has been spreading biosolids on the fields. They place huge nutrients back into the ground and are ploughed in once spread.’
The Bathurst Estate said a contractor spread treated sewage from Wessex Water on the fields near Cirencester. It was banking on the wind to take the smell away – but the wind dropped.
Local resident Caroline McShane said she grew up in and around farms but added: ‘The smell I smelt when driving through Cirencester was enough to make you gag, a mix of rotten fish and ammonia, not a ‘natural’ farming smell.’
Janey Hayes said: ‘I’m born and bred here, but this is vile.’
Countess Bathurst, of grade-1 listed Cirencester Park, apologised ‘for the pong’ after her country estate sprayed human excrement on to the fields
In a statement posted on Facebook, the estate said: ‘The spreading was organised for when there was an easterly wind which would take the odour away from the town, frustratingly the wind dropped in the night and as such the odour hung in the valleys.
‘We have a tractor and cultivator working to incorporate the biosolids as quickly as possible, this will also reduce the odour.’
The countess, Sara Chapman, was born in Marlborough, Wiltshire and married Earl Bathurst in 1996, later becoming the High Sheriff of Gloucestershire until 2017.
She said she began smelling the stench during her evening dog walk on Sunday.
At first, she ‘was convinced something large had died in the hedge’ before realising what it was ‘when the smell followed me all the way home.’
Writing on the local Facebook page, Cirencester, a Local Town for Local People, the Countess added: ‘Apologies for the pong, it’s a necessary annual evil and the wind direction rather let us down, as it completely disappeared and so we all got the full benefit.’
The Bathursts have run Cirencester Park estate since 1695. Reportedly worth £45 million, the estate sprawls over 15,500 acres of countryside which claims to enclose the principal source of the River Thames.
Earl Bathurst, known as Lord Apsley until his father’s death in 2011, is a keen conservationist who has campaigned to preserve the countryside and historic buildings.