JAILED Herefordshire farmer John Price will be appealing his sentence before the crown court today (Friday). 

The Kingsland farmer - who was sentenced to 12 months in prison last month - started his appeal last week, but the case was adjourned part-heard. 

READ MORE: Latest updates: Jailed Herefordshire farmer John Price appeals sentence

The 68-year-old was also ordered to pay prosecution costs of £600,000 and disqualified from being a director of a limited company for three years.

A Restoration Order under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 was also imposed requiring Price to carry out a number of actions to restore the river.


Hereford Times: John Price carried out reprofiling work on the river Lugg in KingslandJohn Price carried out reprofiling work on the river Lugg in Kingsland (Image: Richard Stanton)

After Price was sentenced at Kidderminster Magistrates Court on April 20, it was announced that he would be appealing. Today's hearing at Hereford Justice is expected to last all day. 

The sentence is the result of legal action launched last year by Natural England and the Environment Agency after an investigation into environmental harm caused by work carried out by Price in 2020 and 2021.

The farmer used heavy machinery including bulldozers and excavators to dredge and reprofile a 1.5km stretch of the Lugg at Kingsland, Herefordshire, destroying the riverbed and banks.

The works were in breach of several regulations, and in a Site of Special Scientific Interest, which persisted despite Price being issued with a stop notice.

Hereford Times: The river Lugg before John Price carried out work on itThe river Lugg before John Price carried out work on it (Image: Environment Agency)

Speaking after the verdict, Emma Johnson, area manager for Natural England, said Price had caused "wanton destruction", while Martin Quine, Environment Agency place manager for Herefordshire said that while Price's justification for the works was to help prevent flooding to local properties, his actions did not have any flood prevention benefit.

His sentence was questioned by others, however, with North Herefordshire MP Bill Wiggin saying he should not have been jailed, and a petition launched in support of the farmer has been signed by thousands of people.


John Price's sentence has divided readers - with some people supporting it and others feeling it was too harsh. 

Sandy Owens said: "The recent custodial sentence given to John Price in relation to perceived damage to the river Lugg is nothing short of a disgrace. It is ironic that thousands of tons of raw sewage is pumped into our rivers by big national companies who seem to be immune to the law."

Hereford Times: What the river Lugg in Kingsland looks like nowWhat the river Lugg in Kingsland looks like now (Image: Rob Davies)

Brian Organ added: "The jailing of farmer John Price for doing good in his community is a disgrace. This smacks of a very nasty authoritarian state. I went to Kingsland to look at the “damage” done. Looking upstream over Mr Price’s land from the medieval bridge was a beautiful bucolic, Constable-like vista. They call Mr Price’s river an SSSI or, as I call it, a Site of pseudo-scientific Interest."

David Phelps said: "So Sir Bill Wiggin objects to the jailing of environmental vandal John Price. It must come as a great surprise to his constituents that he must have been present on every day of Price’s trial so that he could understand the legal nuances. I’m sure he would not be so unwise as to make his opinion known without doing so. It seems Sir Bill is now a greater expert on conservation than the Environment Agency."


What are your thoughts?

You can send a letter to the editor to have your say by clicking here.

Letters should not exceed 250 words and local issues take precedence.