A meeting called to discuss the worse ever floods to hit a village community has heard that a local pig farm may be the cause.
A flood action group formed in Hopeman after floods hit their village in August were in attendance at a public meeting with representatives from the Scottish Flood Forum, Moray Council and Sepa.
It was during that meeting that several local residents insisted that the August floods, which were repeated earlier this month, was directly connected to pigs being housed on a field at Mayne Farm – directly opposite the village.
Pigs being held in the field were said to have burrowed a series of deep holes in the field which subsequently overflowed with dirty water that rushed down the hillside and into street drains that could not cope.
Audrey Main, who lives in the village at East Road, said: “We feel like we are fighting a losing battle – we are not anti-pig, we will still eat our bacon rolls, but they are obviously causing the problem with all the muddy water coming off the fields and clogging the drains.
“They need to be on flat land away from here.”
Chairman of the Hopeman Community Association, Dennis Slater, said that he hoped all parties involved could reach an agreement that would help prevent further damage in the future.
“The best way for us to solve this problem is together – as a community and as a partnership with the local authorities,” Mr Slater said, adding: “We will solve this problem at source – which is the fields and the farmer.”
Local councillor John Cowe agreed, saying the field at the back of the village had not been cultivated properly. He added: “The water runs down there like a sheet of glass then it goes right down through the town to the harbour.”
However, the pigs owner, Dean Anderson, rejected the idea that his animals were a cause, saying: “It was sheer volume of water that came down in one day that caused the damage – it is terribly unfortunate that it happened but it was not the pigs, it came from the field next to them.”