Victim of Flytipping…again

It was only a couple of weeks ago that I posted about the growing issue of flytipping but having now personally suffered from it (again) on the farm, I felt it necessary to post some images and once again raise the subject. Yesterday I walked our hedgerows on the farm, assessing their condition as we plan for a new countryside stewardship agreement. On my route I came across not one, not two, but three piles of rubbish that had been dumped by some despicable individual who couldn’t care less about the people or wildlife affected by their action. The largest area included what looked like a number of children’s toys, strewn all over the place, and a fridge, an old favourite for flytippers. We could put a gate at the top of the field but that would mean spending another £300 unnecessarily and would make tractor turning and entrance to the fields much more difficult. Why should we have to give in?! There are lots of areas on the farm that are affected, even the sea wall, where I find it incredible the lengths that people will go to dump rubbish illegally. Surely it is less effort to just head to the dump like everybody else! If anyone has an example of how they have successfully dealt with flytipping I would love to hear about it.

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6 thoughts on “Victim of Flytipping…again

  1. Hello Ben,

    My Essex Wildlife Trust colleague has just dealt with removing a refrigerator form Great Holland Pits, by a firm which will have charged. I was away in the west country and in any case I could not get it in my car. There were some items with a name on with it. The local community police reckoned that the district council were the ones who should chase it up but I have been round this problem before. Though we have a car park for the public and permissive paths as far as the council are concerned we are a private land owner. I have been in trouble in the past taking some items to a local centre, where they correctly asserted that it was not my rubbish so I was in essence a contractor and should pay.

    This leads to a bigger question about government grants to landowners. Going back to the time of John Major’s government grants were made to landowners including farmers and conservation land owners but public access was part of the deal. As I understand it now, public access is not a requirement and certainly several farm areas have closed off access for understandable reasons, while this is not a practical or in multiple ways an acceptable option for trusts.

    Certainly the reserve I look after is subject to regular littering of the car park with fast food packaging, and suffers frequent fly tipping of household waste, tires, burned out cars and occasionally asbestos. I think that there should be straight forward funding by the state if as we do, we provide public services.

    Furthermore the tendency to shut the recycling centres and make them less available to the public and contractors is another crass example of governments making the country less civilised in order to give the appearance of the UK being a good place for business by lowering taxes.

    I will finish with a link concerning the scale of this problem in Epping Forest in south Essex

    http://www.hortweek.com/two-fined-epping-forest-fly-tipping/parks-and-gardens/article/1414127

  2. The fines (punishment) for being caught fly tipping are too small. Not only that, most could not pay the fine anyway. The courts must include public long public service along with the fines, to make it work. Then we could employ logcam, or bouldercam to catch them.

    • I agree. Community service would be a really good punishment. The fines are certainly too small. 95% are apparently less than £1000 (according to the article in Farmers Weekly this week), even though theoretically the law was changed in 2015 to raise maximum fines to unlimited scales, along with up to 12 months in prison. However, there is little point in having a potential severe sentence if nobody is convicted in the first place!

  3. I’m sorry to read of your ongoing issue with flytipping. In Scotland, SEPA and the police have been jointly very proactive in tackling the problem. The public are advised to report it but not to touch the waste in case it is hazardous (e.g. the fridge you mention) and so as not to interfere with any clues to its ownership.
    In England it appears the route to resolution is less clear, as robseago indicates above. Given that it is an illegal activity, have you reported it? (https://www.gov.uk/report-flytipping) Apologies if this is patronising, but you didn’t mention it. I appreciate you may still be stuck with clear up costs – time and money – but some public body should be supporting you.
    I agree that cultural change is needed and we all need to be vigilant about any anti-social or anti-environmental behaviour.

    • Thanks for the comment. Yes we reported it, and we have actually even managed to find the culprit. In convo with local council about next steps but I think we are going to put a gate on the field anyway. An annoying expense which seems unnecessary but it should hopefully stop it from happening again, at least in this field. There was a good article on the issue in this week’s Farmers Weekly. It appears that in Essex we are far from alone, with there having been over 120 cases of industrial scale fly tipping in the county since September. As you say, cultural change is really needed.

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