Action must be taken now to protect the countryside from fly-tippers who are ruining Britain’s iconic landscape with giant piles of waste and rubbish costing farmers thousands to remove, the NFU warned today.
Latest figures show local authorities dealt with more than one million fly-tipping incidents in England during 2016/17 – a rise of seven per cent on the previous year. This continues the upward trend with the number of incidents increasing year-on-year since 2013.
Large scale coordinated dumping continues to be a regular occurrence with many incidents involving clinical waste and rubbish from construction and demolition.
The NFU believes a joined-up approach is needed involving the Government, local authorities and police to help farmers battle the issue.
Under 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: “Fly-tipping really has become the scourge of the countryside. The rubbish can be costly and time consuming for farmers and landowners to remove, it’s dangerous to human health, harmful to wildlife and livestock and in some cases, fly-tipped waste pollutes watercourses and contaminates land.
“While farmers and landowners do all they can to prevent fly-tippers, such as installing gates, barriers, warning signs and installing security cameras and lighting, in many cases we have found that deterrents do not work. These fly-tippers are people intent on breaking the law and they think nothing of cutting padlocks, breaking gates and smashing cameras.
“We need to clamp down on this huge and growing problem. The NFU wants to see Government pull together a national picture of fly-tipping and use it to coordinate all agencies to target and deter offenders.
“We believe better communication between Government, local authorities, police forces and the Environment Agency will give those impacted more confidence to report incidents that in turn will lead to investigation and prosecution.”