Dump if you dare. That is the message from the National Farmers’ Union as it launches a campaign to combat the continuing scourge of fly-tipping on farm land across Devon and Cornwall.
The farming organisation has warned irresponsible householders that they will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law if they are caught leaving their rubbish on farmland.
Fly-tipping continues to be
a major problem for farmers across the country, and this Easter it will be the focus of the NFU’s ‘Love your Countryside’ campaign.
The campaign is designed to raise awareness of the ongoing crisis and remind homeowners that they have a duty of
care to ensure their rubbish is disposed of correctly.
Minette Batters, NFU deputy president, said: “Fly-tipping on private land remains a significant problem for farmers and landowners who are left frustrated when they, the victims of a crime, are left to clear up dumped waste and made to pay to dispose of it.
“This waste is not only unsightly, it is a danger to human health, livestock and wildlife and in some cases can pollute watercourses and contaminate land,” she added.
During 2012-13 there were 711,000 incidents of fly-tipping in England – one case every 44 seconds. It is estimated that around two thirds of farmers are affected by fly-tipping.
A previous study revealed that the cost of clearing fly-tipped waste from agricultural land, which included fridges, chairs and mattresses, was
approximately £47 million.
Phil Browning, environmental crime enforcement officer at Cornwall Council, said: “Fly-tipping on agricultural land in Cornwall is a problem, especially in areas where the ownership of the land is difficult to ascertain.
“We receive in the region of 50 reports of fly tipping on agricultural land a year.
“While we do not remove fly tipping from privately owned land, we would be grateful if the farming community would report when rubbish is fly-tipped on their land, especially if there is significant evidence of who is responsible or where the material originated from.”
Mrs Batters added: “We want homeowners to be more responsible for their actions. They should ensure that any rubbish is taken away by a registered carrier and they get a receipt. If not, they run the real risk of being prosecuted if any dumped waste is traced back to them.
“By working together on a local level we can find effective solutions to the problem and in turn, back British farming.”