An agricultural haulage boss has been branded “pig-headed” by a judge after he repeatedly ignored warnings about burning waste on his land illegally.

Father and son David and Nicholas Channer, partners at Amersham haulier J Channer & Sons, ignored waste management laws and were convicted following an investigation by the Environment Agency (EA).

The company holds a standard national operator’s licence authorising four lorries and six trailers out of its Bucks site.

The pair were caught continually storing and setting light to rubbish at the farm at Mop End, putting the environment at risk.

High Wycombe Magistrates heard how the two accumulated everything from wood and metal to waste from two agricultural concerns and then set light to it as a cheaper alternative to authorised disposal.

When asked to explain their actions, the Channers told the agency they either hadn’t seen letters from crime officers, or were unaware exemptions from permits for managing the waste had expired.

David Channer admitted burning waste collected from elsewhere, leading district judge Malcolm Dodds to say the 67-year-old was “pig-headed” for not responding to “plentiful warnings” from the EA.

Nicholas Channer was sent to prison for 13 months, including five months for breaching an unrelated suspended sentence and his father received a six-month jail term, suspended for two years.

Charlotte Milton, an EA senior environmental crime officer, said: “David and Nicholas Channer have been rightly punished by the courts for riding roughshod over the law around managing waste safely and securely.

“The men had no system in place to limit the amount or type of waste held at Mop End Farm, nor did they establish measures to protect the environment or human health.”

While the areas where the fires took place have been partially cleared, David Channer, as landowner, has until December to remove the remaining contaminated ash.