Thoresby Hall Hotel sewage discharge leads to £90,000 fine

Sep 26, 2020
Bourne Leisure Ltd, owners of country house hotels, Haven and Butlins, was fined £90,000 for polluting the River Meden and has to pay £44,518.96 in costs.

Published 6 March 2020

From: Environment Agency

Outflow from Thoresby Hall hotel waste treatment plant into the River Meden

Outflow from Thoresby Hall Hotel waste treatment plant into the River Meden

Bourne Leisure Ltd, the group that owns the Thoresby Hall Hotel in Ollerton, near Newark, has been convicted after discharging partially treated sewage effluent into the River Meden.
On 4 March 2020, at Mansfield Magistrates’ Court, Bourne Leisure was fined £90,000, and has to pay £44,518.96 towards prosecution costs and a £170 victim surcharge.
An Environment Agency officer spotted a milky cloud of pollution in the River Meden whilst working nearby. He called colleagues to investigate and it was found to be coming from the Thoresby Hall Hotel sewage treatment works.

The hotel is not connected to the mains sewage system and operates its own sewage treatment plant under the strict control of an environmental permit issued by the Environment Agency. The permit controls the quantity and quality of treated waste water allowed to be discharged into the River Meden.
The sewage treatment plant at the hotel was permitted to discharge up to 141 cubic metres of treated sewage effluent per day, but strict limits had been placed to ensure any discharge had a low biochemical oxygen demand, low ammonia levels and minimal suspended solids.

Investigations including numerous samples taken by the Environment Agency and the hotels’ own records, showed that permit conditions relating to the discharge had been breached numerous times over a two and a half year period (April 2015 – September 2017).
Yvonne Ratcliffe, Environment Officer at the Environment Agency, said:
The permit system allows businesses to operate whilst protecting the environment; it is important that permit holders ensure they have robust management systems in place to ensure their compliance. It is not sufficient to wait for the Environment Agency to alert you to a failure to comply with permit conditions. Required procedures and measures are in place for a reason but the limits set on a permit need to be complied with and respected. Anybody who breaches these limits are putting the environment at risk
An assessment found that the discharge led to a limited water quality impact, but this was seen to be due to low ammonia levels in the river upstream of the discharge and the substantial dilution from the upstream flow.
Environmental incidents should be reported to the Environment Agency’s 24 hour incident hotline on 0800 80 70 60.


Regular member
Site Supporter
Jan 16, 2019
I’ve fished just downstream from here. Some brilliant fish in here and surrounding rivers.


Regular member
Aug 20, 2012
Yes what a shame as I have fished and grown up very nearby.
90k wont dent the bank for that group though!


Regular member
Site Supporter
Jul 15, 2009
Doesn't it make you feel good knowing the EA are finding and bringing these polluters to book. Good on the EA. They don't get much praise other than bad press. 👍


Some of the gear, No idea
May 30, 2019
I fix their printers and photocopiers at Thorseby Hall, never knew they treated their own sewage. :unsure: