Friday, April 18, 2008
Stagnant air spread today across southern and eastern parts of England including the capital city, London.
The police, fire and water services as well as the Met Office were all asked to give an explanation for the smell. The police and fire services were at a loss as to how to respond, but Thames Water assured its customers that there were no problems with any of its water treatment plants. A Met Office spokesperson explained that "over the last few days, we've had fresh, strong winds from an easterly direction. As a result some of our air is coming from continental Europe." The westerly wind which England usually receives is less pungent, having arrived from the Atlantic.
Geoff Dollard, an air quality expert, told the Daily Mail "The feeling is that it's natural".
The origin of the smell is therefore thought to be from manure recently spread on continental European farms (from France, the Netherlands, Belgium or Germany). A spokesman for the National Farmers Union said: "This has happened before. In Holland and Belgium they are spreading millions of tons of muck at the moment. It is a countryside smell."
The stench is expected to die down over the weekend but Met Office spokeswoman Helen Chivers says that if there are no south or south-westerly winds, "it is possible it may hang around until Tuesday".
== Sources ==
"Pong in the air is 'Euro-whiff'" — BBC News Online, April 18, 2008
Anil Dawar. "Pungent winds bring countryside to the capital" — The Guardian, April 18, 2008
Katie Cassidy. "Cause Of Stink: 'Continental Pollutants'" — Sky News, April 18, 2008
Beth Hale. "Der Stink: Germany to blame for terrible smell engulfing England blown in by freak weather" — Daily Mail, April 18, 2008