Tip the scales of jus­tice

Country Life Every Week - - Town & Country -

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.’

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