Councils have warned that fly-tippers are increasingly targeting rural areas after new figures show a surge in incidents where rubbish is being dumped on farm land.
Figures obtained by the District Councils Network (DCN) show that in the past seven years, the number of fly-tipping incidents on agricultural spots has increased by two thirds – from 888 in 2012/13 to 1,473 in 2018/19.
The majority of fly-tips seen by district councils take place on public highways, council land, footpaths and alleyways.
However, the DCN is warning that farm land is a growing target for fly-tippers.
‘Fly-tipping is the scourge of our communities. Not only does this eyesore ruin local areas, damage the environment and cause misery for residents, but it also creates a public health risk,’ said Cllr Dan Humphreys, the DCN’s lead member for enhancing quality of life.
‘However, as our findings show, what is now becoming increasingly apparent, is how criminal fly-tippers are turning their attentions to targeting agricultural areas, blighting our idyllic countryside.’
District councils, which are responsible for clearing up fly-tipping, recorded more than 200,000 fly-tips last year (2018/19) and issued £220,000 in fines, which fell short of the £250,000 prosecution costs.
‘Districts, which are responsible for clearing up fly-tipping, are doing all they can to fight fly-tippers, and have taken action over 600,000 times in the past five years,’ continued Cllr Humphreys.
‘To help districts continue waging war on fly-tipping, the new Government needs to make sure districts have the funding and flexibilities to ensure waste is well managed locally, and for sentencing guidelines to be reviewed so courts issue bigger fines for the more serious offences.’