THE mystery smell which plagued Oxford residents on Monday and Tuesday was still lingering yesterday – but some think they may have finally sniffed out the cause.
Although Oxford City Council last night admitted it was no closer to discovering the source of the odour, residents in Barton and Sandhills claimed it was wafting down from fields north of Oxford Crematorium, off Bayswater Road, caused by muck-spreading.
Lisa Lawrence, 43, of Hosker Close, said she called the city council’s environmental health helpline but the operators had been unable to help.
She said: “I used to live in the Bahamas and there were often stray dogs that would get left on the side of the road. The stench was unbelievable, and that is what this smells like to me.
“I think it must be coming from a farmer’s field, though I have lived here for more than 30 years now and we have never had it this bad.”
Another resident Christian Gee, 64, also said he believed the cause of the smell was muck-spreading.
He said: “We had to close our windows last night and the night before because the smell was so strong.”
Residents again took to social networks Facebook and Twitter to say the stench could be smelt from areas including Barton, Sandhills, Headington, Marston, Risinghurst, Cowley, Rose Hill, Thornhill, Wheatley, Berinsfield, Stonesfield, Garsington and even Woodstock and Didcot.
Headington ward city councillor Ruth Wilkinson said she had received calls about the odour, which could still be detected in Wheatley, near her place of work, yesterday.
She said: “Someone in the village has said to me they get a smell similar to this every year and it is when fertiliser is being put on the fields.”
An anonymous caller told the Oxford Mail it was chicken muck.
He said: “Someone has spread some organic chicken poo on a field and the sun has gone on it and caused a stench. Mystery solved.”
A spokesman for Rectory Farm, the pick-your-own business, also said they were not to blame.
A city council spokesman said yesterday afternoon that no further progress had been made in determining the source of the smell.
Do you think you know the cause of the smell? Contact the Oxford Mail newsdesk on 01865 425405
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