Tip the scales of justice
AFLY-TIPPING epidemic is blighting our countryside and more must be done, says the NFU. Last week, at Keep Britain Tidy’s annual conference, farmers highlighted the escalating problem, which last year saw 900,000 incidents of fly-tipping across England, a 5% increase from 2015. It is a sad fact that, now, two-thirds of all farms are affected by the dumping of items such as mattresses, carpets, dishwashers, furniture and black bags of household waste. This is ‘dangerous to human health, harmful to wildlife and livestock and, in some cases, pollutes watercourses and contaminates land,’ explains the NFU’S Phil Jarvis.
Under current rules, farmers and landowners have to pay hundreds of thousands of pounds a year to have this rubbish removed, but the NFU believes they shouldn’t shoulder this burden alone and that it’s time for action from local authorities, the police and the Environment Agency, with enhanced communication, investigation, prosecution and stop-and-search initiatives.
‘Although farmers and landowners do all they can to prevent fly-tippers—such as installing gates, barriers, warning signs, security cameras and lighting—in many cases, deterrents don’t work,’ says Mr Jarvis. ‘These fly-tippers are intent on breaking the law and they think nothing of cutting padlocks, breaking gates and smashing cameras.’