Muck heap smell containment

catembi

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We have been here for 3 years. The house was previously non equestrian with a 4 acre wilderness garden. We got planning, stables, arena etc. We are nearly at the edge of a village in a row of houses, but our house is set back behind the others and the land is behind that.

We poo pick twice a day into IKEA bags which (since the neighbours complained about the smell last year) are kept in a specially bought metal poo shed behind the house about 50 metres from the nearest house. They are collected twice a week by gardeners so there is no poo older than 4 days.

The neighbours have just sent me a moaning message yet again complaining about the smell! Nothing has changed! If I got a proper shipping container, the sort of heavy duty thing that people use for tack rooms, would this contain the smell? It is really quite upsetting and I feel harassed by the nominated person turning up on the doorstep to complain or getting complaining notes and now complaining messages. TBH I just feel like selling the house, but the set up is exactly how I wanted it and we’ve invested so much into the outside 😢
 

Red-1

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I wonder if bagging it is making it worse?

I have a muck trailer, pile it all on and keep it tidy. Muck emptied once a month. It doesn't really smell. Do you have bedding in there? Ours is mixed with dirty bedding, maybe that helps?

I really can't think that neighbours would smell it!

ETA - I wonder if there is a machine that would definitively say if there was a smell, or if people imagine one?
 

Flyermc

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My questions the them would be the following

Where can they smell the poo (certain part of the garden, etc?)
could i be a different smell they are thinking is horse poo?
have you shown them your set-up?
and to stay friendly, can they think of anything you can do differently?

after this, id tell them to stop harassing you and any complaints need to go through the council!
 

catembi

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We have to bag it so the gardeners can grab it but the bags are open top s We have no bedding as it’s poo picking the yard and the stables all have rubber mats. So just the odd bit of waste hay and lavender miscanthus bedding which I sprinkle on wet patches to soak them up in the stables. I just don’t know what to do to keep the moaners quiet! Air freshener in the poo shed…?!
 

catembi

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I have previously shown them the set up and explained re gardeners. It really upsets me that they all talk about it and then send a nominated person to moan, write or message. I am autistic and hugely upset by conflict and try so hard to avoid upsetting anyone 😢
 

honetpot

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I have previously shown them the set up and explained re gardeners. It really upsets me that they all talk about it and then send a nominated person to moan, write or message. I am autistic and hugely upset by conflict and try so hard to avoid upsetting anyone 😢
Have you a friend who can be your advocate. Its doubtful there could be any smell that can travel. If in a container even less likely. My dog smells more than my muck heap, and in its a large stacked heap.
 

dorsetladette

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You may need planning for a shipping container. I have 2 which i inherited with the field, a new neighbour complained to the council about them spoiling her view and hey presto I had to put a planning application in for something that had been sat there for longer than any other neighbour can remember.

The only thing I can think is to disinfect the metal shed floor after the gardens have collected in case any bags have leaked.
 

ycbm

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I would ask them to ask me round when the smell is particularly strong and see if it actually smells. I muck out into bags (Aldi, not Ikea :) )which I keep for anything up to a week and my muck heap is the banking at the end of my arena. I don't believe it smells at all and I think yours might not either and that this is in your neighbours heads just because they can see you have horses.
.
 

ihatework

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I would just respond politely to say you feel you have made adequate provision and that you respectfully ask them to complain directly to the council instead of harassing you from now on.

Assuming you have all the relevant planning permissions I fail to see how the council could take any action in the situation you describe. From what you say, I doubt anything you do will appease the moaners, so I’d go for the polite F.O. Approach
 

catembi

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Yes we have full planning but I don’t know if that would be trumped by us creating a ‘nuisance’. Aaarrrggghhh, why are people so moany? One of them has horses at livery just round the corner!
 

J&S

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Jealousy is often at the bottom of neighbour problems. One side of our field runs along the length of a neigbour's garden, he has complained about my stepdughter's little dog barking when she goes out in the morning, he seems to forget tht his spaniel puppy contsantly was leaping about our field as and when it pleased. It turned out that he had secret desires on our field for himself and was really angry when we bought the house and the land!
Just a thought, could you offer livery to the complaining horse owner???
 

Jellymoon

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I just don’t see how it can smell if it’s bagged up, in a metal shed? I used to bag up manure and keep it for ages until I got round to shipping it down to muck heap, I don’t recall it ever smelling and no-one complained…perhaps the smell of the sheep next door overpowered it?! Is there a farm nearby? Could it be that they are smelling? Also, you live in the country, they need to get a grip.
I now have a normal muck heap, admittedly not very close to neighbours, but not that far away, no-one is bothered. The smell is eclipsed by the farm smell down the road - this is country life!
Shipping containers are very expensive, so I really don’t think you should be forced to go down this route by nimby neighbours.
I think neighbours such as these need firm, no nonsense treatment. You have planning permission, you have to store muck somewhere and sounds like you are bending over backwards to reduce smell.
Send a note back clearly stating all you have done to reduce smell and say you cannot do any more, if they are still unsatisfied take it up with the council.
 

Polos Mum

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Sadly I suspect the neighbours are your problem not the smell

Some people you can't make happy. I agree with above - politely explain you've gone above reasonable requirements and if they aren't happy perhaps the should contact the council (who will have 1000 more important things to do).

If you keep getting hassle maybe a note on your door about not welcoming harassment wouldn't be a bad idea
 

Tiddlypom

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My muck heap (it's on a concrete base and is enclosed by wooden sleepers on the sides only) barely smells at all, so I very much doubt that yours does either. Mine gets taken away just once per year.

My farmer neighbour (same guy who takes our muck away) has an occasional pile of cow muck in an adjacent field to us. It's a bit whiffy when it's getting tipped there, but hey, we're in the country.
 
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Check your planning application carefully and cross reference it against the Decision Notice that the council issued when the application was approved. Ensure that you are fully complying with the conditions that were outlined in both documents. Get a friend to ask the council what their current policy is on muck heaps (if you don't want to draw attention to yourself) and ensure that you comply with that guidance.
 

criso

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Do you have a non horsey friend who could give you an impartial opinion on whether there is a smell? Sometimes as horsey people we don't notice however your neighbours could also be thinking there is a smell where there isn't.
 

Quigleyandme

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I’m hugely sorry you are having this issue. I very much doubt your muck smells after it has gone cold. Horses don’t eat anything offensive so nothing offensive comes out the other end. I agree your neighbours’ complaints aren’t justified. You’ve listened and made reasonable adjustments. If you are not in breach of your planning and environmental health are happy maybe a cease and desist (harassing) letter from your solicitor might be in order. They have no right to make you feel this way.
 

SEL

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I don't notice the smell from mine at this time of year and that's just a big heap. I like the idea of placating them by sending a friend round to do the sniff test!
 

catembi

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The horses have 6 stables to wander in & out of, all rubber matted, they mostly wee outside on the limestone yard but if there is wet inside then I completely cover it with lavender scented bedding which smells amazing! There is a friendly neighbour who is in fact our closest neighbour and may be coming to dinner at the w'end, so maybe I will ask him to have a wander about & see what he can smell! He actually asked me recently if I still have horses as he never hears them, so presumably doesn't smell them either...?!

I didn't realise that I would need planning for a proper container. I looked into getting an 8ft by 10 ft one which would be about £1,500 the last time all this kicked off, and I liked the idea of it because they are airtight & then I could be 100% certain that there was no escaping smell whatsoever. I would rather spend the money and not have the stress, but then planning would add to the stress and the expense... Aaarrrgghhh...!
 

Parrotperson

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I'm sorry there being such prats! I wouldn't go for a shipping container as they get very hot in the summer and the minute you open the door it'll be horrible! I doubt your gardener friends would like it much.

Maybe you could enlist some of the gardeners to come and have a talk with the complainants? It might not be your muck heap causing the problem.

if you have rubber mats the smell of the urine can be bad. There are various products on the market that you can put down to alleviate any smell
 
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