RESIDENTS in an East Lancashire town were left with stinging nostrils when a lingering smell hovered over their homes.

People in Clitheroe have complained about the stench all week, with many saying it was merely farmers spreading manure.

But one resident, who did not want to be named, said it was unlike any smell she had ever come across from a farm.

She added: “I’ve always lived here and never noticed a smell this bad before.

“We don’t pay through the nose for council tax for our noses to be ravaged by a malodorous miasma.”

Luke Tyrell was so disgusted he had to keep all his windows and doors closed.

He said: “I’ve never smelled such a repulsive odour so widespread before.

"It keeps coming in waves and covering a huge area of the town.

“It was terrible on Whalley Road and down Henthorn Road.

"I’m near Bawdlands and it was here too.

“It’s like faeces mixed with burning, sulphur and processed meat.”

Others thought it could be something to do with sewage.

One said: “It will be heat-treated sewage. Not good, but legal and less expensive than nitro chalk or chemical fertilizers.

A local farmer said she had used human sewage for years on her farm and claimed it smelled nothing like the stench lingering in Clitheroe.

She said: “Human sewage does not smell like that.

"It’s a very distinctive smell but this current one isn’t it," she added.

“It’s typically left to ferment on land for a couple of months and then spread.

"But still it does not create this smell.

“I’ve had kids fall in silo fluid run-off, which is akin to the bog of eternal stench, smell better than this current miasma.

“It’s a chewable smell.”

The Environment Agency, United Utilities, the National Farmers Union and the Environmental Health Department at Ribble Valley Council were all contacted for a comment.

Environment Agency officials said it would be an issue for the local council.

They did mention the water treatment works on Henthorn Road

But they said they hadn’t had any reports of anything in the last few days.

A Ribble Valley Borough Council spokesman said: “We have received complaints and are investigating.

“But the source of the smell remains a mystery.”

A United Utilities spokesman said: “We are not carrying out any works or experiencing any issues at our treatment works or on our network in the Clitheroe area that could be causing the odour that local residents have been experiencing.”