Barling Sewage Farm Protest Rally 1972
The photographs depict interviews with local residents, soil samples being taken and protesters on the march.
Ropers Farm in Barling was used by Southend Corporation to dispose of sewage sludge. The fields were being worked by prisoners from Chelmsford and a dispute arose when crops on the farm failed. A lady who lived close by to the farm had traces of poisonous metals in her blood. Barling Conservation Group was formed and soil samples were taken from the farm. In May 1972 thirty members and supporters of the Group held a protest rally outside the farm. This was reported in the local press and shown on television. Official samples of the soil and sludge were taken and found to be contaminated with toxic metals. It was thought that industrial waste entering the sewers was responsible. As a direct result of the Barling protests legislation was passed nationwide so that industrial waste was treated separately and not allowed into the domestic sewers.