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Clearing illegal tips costs millions


Farmers have expressed fury saying that there has been a "plague" of fly-tipping on their lands.

It comes as new government figures revealed fly-tipping in England had to be cleaned up 1.08 million times by local councils in 2022-23.

Despite the fact that clearing the largest illegal tips cost £13.2m, the number of court fines dropped by 17 per cent, raising just £785,000.

These figures only cover public land, however farmers have complained about criminals fly-tipping on their land.

Colin Rayner has 2,000 acres of arable land across east Berkshire and south Buckinghamshire.

He has now had to resort to using five-tonne concrete blocks and security fencing to close entrances to fields and stop the larger tipper truck lorries dumping waste on his land.

He said: "Flying-tipping on our farmland in Berkshire and Surrey occurs on weekly basis.

"We feel we have been abandoned by the law makers and law enforcers. Fly-tipping is a very expensive ugly plague on the Countryside and landowners."

President of the Country Land and Business Association (CLA) Victoria Vyvyan said: "These fly-tipping figures barely scratch the surface of a crime that's blighting rural communities, with incidents on private land going unrecorded on a mass scale."

Under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, private landowners have to remove fly-tipped rubbish or face prosecution.

However, the CLA says farmers are paying on average £1,000 each time, but with costs are going as high as £100,000 in some cases.

Vyvyan added: "Farmers, not the criminals, will continue to pay the price."

Rural Affairs Minister Robbie Moore said: "We always encourage local authorities to investigate fly-tipping incidents on private land - prosecuting the fly-tippers and recovering clearance costs where possible."

The figures revealed fly-tipping incidents have dropped by one per cent since the previous year, with 60 per cent involving household waste, with fixed penalty notices issued going down from 91,000 to 73,000.

The total number of court fines decreased by 17 per cent to 1,491.