THE cause of a bad smell lingering over the town last week has been found.

Reported to the council on Thursday after a smell of burning was noticed in the Hatch Warren and Beggarwood areas, the initial cause was unknown.

However, after further reports across the town into Friday, investigations continued, with council concluding it was the burning of bales in Dummer.

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council's Regulatory Services Manager, Robert Draper, said: "We received reports of an unpleasant smell in the Hatch Warren and Beggarwood area overnight last Thursday and on Friday.

"We investigated the concerns raised on Thursday but did not find any evidence of burning or organic material being spread.

"We received further reports of an unpleasant smell on Friday and determined this was the result of broken bales being burnt in fields in Dummer.

"We would like to remind residents that burning any waste at night can cause odour in the air.

"Green waste such as leaves and cuttings can be taken to the Household Waste Recycling Centre where it is turned into soil conditioner which can be purchased."

First reported in the Spotted Hatch Warren and Beggarwood Facebook group late on Thursday night, people were speculating on the source of the smell.

One user said: “Probably just Sainsburys overcooking all their bread again,” whilst another added: “I told my partner it smells like the wicker man ride at Alton Towers.”

However, the smell has appeared to spread throughout the town, with staff in the Gazette offices noticing it on Friday morning.