A FARMER died after he drowned in an irrigation pool, an inquest heard.

Alan Wellings from Dilwyn was found by his son on July 6 on land which they rented out in Little Dilwyn.

Herefordshire Coroner's Court heard his wife, Eleanor, grew concerned after the 84-year-old did not return for lunch, so his son, Stuart, went to look for him.

His son found his father after he spotted his pick-up. Mr Wellings was pronounced dead at the scene.

A post mortem recorded his death as asphyxia from fresh water drowning, with congestive heart failure listed as a significant contribution.

The inquest heard Mr Wellings had a history of depression back to the 1980s, and he had been prescribed medication.

His GP surgery said there was no reference to anxiety or depression since 2013.

A statement was read to the inquest from Eleanor Wellings who said her husband had seen a herbalist for his depression for 20 years, which had helped a lot, but since the herbalist had died five years ago they had not found anyone to replace him.

Mrs Wellings said: "This comes as a great shock. At least Alan is at peace and he will worry no longer."

His son said he was aware his father had depression but he never thought he would take his own life.

He said the pool has an edge over the water so it is possible he slipped into it.

Coroner Mark Bricknell recorded an open verdict. He said he could not be sure if Mr Wellings took his own life or whether it was an accident.

He said: "We have an elderly gentleman who suffered from depression but we also have evidence that he dealt with that depression over a lengthy period of time."