New images of thousands of tonnes of rubbish blighting the great British countryside highlight the true scale of fly-tipping, the NFU said today.
Large scale co-ordinated dumping is now a regular occurrence with photos sent to the NFU showing it’s not just large domestic items such as washing machines, fridges, sofas, mattresses and furniture, but also clinical waste and rubbish from construction and demolition.
It comes on the day that the Government has confirmed a rise in the number of incidents to 936,000 in 2015/16.
With rural tourism contributing £130m to the nation’s economy (2015-16) the NFU believes more urgently needs to be done to protect the iconic British countryside from fly-tipping with local authorities and police helping farmers battling this issue.
Under the current rules farmers and landowners are left facing hefty bills to remove vast amounts of rubbish dumped illegally on their land.
NFU Deputy President Minette Batters said the solution was better collaboration between all those affected parties.
“Fly-tipping is the scourge of the countryside – clearly we are disappointed that the number of fly-tipping incidents has increased,” said Mrs Batters. “Our members are fully aware of the impacts this can have on farm and the wider countryside, as well as the high costs and stress that can come along with it. This can run into thousands of pounds and can see farmers being forced to deal with the aftermath themselves.
“That’s why we have written to the Minister of Justice, Liz Truss, as well as the National Police Chief’s Council (NPCC) and the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC), to ensure that magistrates are aware of increased fine limits and that they are fully informed on the negative impact fly-tipping can have on the rural community.
“It is crucial that Britain’s countryside is not used as a dumping ground. We need a broader government strategy that allows incidents to be reported more effectively and cleared up, intelligence to be shared more easily and we need a campaign to raise awareness among householders on their responsibilities in disposing of unwanted waste.”
The NFU is asking for:
• Local authorities and the police assisting landowners in the clean-up and reporting of fly- tipped waste
• NFU wants all parties (Local authorities/Police/land owners/The Environment Agency) to work together on the issue which means prevention, clean up and prosecution.
• It should not be the sole responsibility of the landowner to deal with this crime and landowners are currently saddled with the cost of removing fly tipped waste.