Farmers’ leaders call for ‘broader’ strategy on fly-tipping

A fly-tipping incident on a farm near Chelmsford.

A fly-tipping incident on a farm near Chelmsford. - Credit: Archant

Farmers’ leaders have called for a “broader” strategy for tackling the scourge of fly-tipping in the countryside after they published new images to underline the scale of the problem.

A fly-tipping incident on a farm near Chelmsford.

A fly-tipping incident on a farm near Chelmsford. - Credit: Archant

The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) wants local authorities and the police to help landowners with cleaning up the mess, and with reporting incidents.

It argues it should not be the sole responsibility of the landowner to deal with the crime and that they should not be saddled with the cost of removal.

Large scale co-ordinated dumping is now a regular occurrence, the NFU says, and points to its photos, which show that it is not just large domestic items such as washing machines, fridges, sofas, mattresses and furniture, which are being dumped, but also clinical waste and rubbish from construction and demolition.

The Government last week confirmed a rise in the number of fly-tipping incidents to 936,000 in 2015/16.

The NFU says with rural tourism contributing £130m to the nation’s economy, more needs to be done.

NFU deputy president Minette Batters said the solution was better collaboration between all those affected parties.

Most Read

“Fly-tipping is the scourge of the countryside - clearly we are disappointed that the number of fly-tipping incidents has increased,” she said. “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.”