Farmer who blamed sheep for damaging Offa's Dyke fined

Offa's Dyke roughly follows the current border between England and Wales
Offa's Dyke roughly follows the current border between England and Wales

A farmer who pleaded guilty to damaging a world-famous ancient monument has now been ordered to pay out more than £2,000.

Richard Pugh, who farms on the boundary between England and Wales, initially blamed his sheep for damaging Offa’s Dyke.

The historic path, dating back to the 8th century, stretches 150-miles across the border.

But damage to the monument last year led to a 7.5-metre-wide gap.



Responding to the suggestion by Mr Pugh that his sheep were to blame, Judge Rhys Rowlands said it was 'unbelievably ridiculous'.

He told Mold Crown Court on Thursday (18 July): “Offa’s Dyke is a well known ancient monument. It has been there since the Dark Ages and there is very strong public interest in ensuring its survival in its present form.



“Your actions meant that a significant archaeological site may have been lost.”

Mr Pugh, 35, pleaded guilty to destroying or damaging an ancient or protected monument.

He also admitted that using agricultural machinery and quad bikes had caused the damage, not his sheep.

The judge ordered him to pay a fine of £1,500. On top of that, he was ordered to pay £500 towards prosecution costs and a £150 surcharge.