The continuing smell of cannabis across the Fens has prompted calls for people to report the odour so authorities can track how far it wafts.
There has been ongoing discussions on social media sites about the smell of the drug with people suggesting there was a major cannabis factory some where localy. There have been reports of the odour in places as far apart as March and Thetford, but people in Wisbech and its surrounding villages and also in Marham have all reported smelling the drug producing plants.
Investigations revealed the smell was most likely being generated by the harvest of the first legal crop of the plant at the British Sugar site at Wissington, which is growing cannabis under licence for medicinal purposes.
Fenland District Council’s environmental health team together with neighbouring authorities continue to investigate reports of the smell which are still coming in from across Cambridgeshire and Norfolk.
The council has now launched an a appeal for the public’s help via its Facebook page to pinpoint its source by ‘odour mapping’ all reports. There is a link on the page to enable people to make their report easily.
A spokesman for the council said: “Our environmental health team continues to investigate the issue with neighbouring authorities, with reports of the smell continuing to come in from across Cambridgeshire and Norfolk. We need the public’s help to assist with ‘odour mapping’ to pinpoint its source.
“When reporting the cannabis odour, please tell us the postcode/location of the smell (where you were when you smelt it), the date and time you smelt it, and, if possible, the wind direction at the time. You can pass these details on to us by reporting it via our website: www.fenland.gov.uk/environmentalnuisance.”
South West Norfolk MP Liz Truss and members of Stoke Ferry Parish Council and Downham Market Town Council met with the managing director of British Sugar earlier in the month to discuss the odour issue.
As a result of the meeting odour consultants were being brought in to investigate the issues raised.
After the meeting Ms Truss said: “The recent harvest of the specialist crop was the first one to come from Cornerways Nursery, near Wissington and with the process generally taking about four to five weeks, there is the potential for strong smells to linger for quite a few days. British Sugar have assured me that they do not want to create any problems for local residents and I certainly want to see any changes, where needed, implemented as quickly as possible. An environmental specialist and odour consultant have been engaged to investigate the issues raised and if necessary, investment will be made in appropriate odour control equipment.”
The plants are used to produce a drug to treat childhood epilepsy.