The owners of an estate near Bridgnorth have picked up the cost after fly-tippers dumped 33 tonnes of contaminated metal on their land.
If it's on private land, you do.
NFU environmental policy adviser Sarah Faulkner said: “Generally speaking, if you are the victim of a crime you are not expected to pay the criminal’s costs – unless that is if you are a landowner and the victim of fly-tipping.
“Our members rightly feel they are the victims of this growing trend which costs them both time and money.
“It is incredibly unfair that the responsibility of clearing up after those who are flouting the law lies solely with landowners.
Nina Ward, resident land agent at the Enville and Staylbridge Estates, has hit out at those using the countryside as a dumping ground after the mammoth tip, tainted with oil, was discovered in woodland.
The clear-up operation at the Enville Estate, which extends to some 6,500 acres on the Staffordshire, Shropshire and Worcestershire borders, cost nearly £7,000.
She said: “Flytipping on the estate is a weekly occurrence and ranges from domestic waste, commercial waste such as tyres, asbestos and builders rubbish, to more recently remains of cannabis plants.
“This recent incident exceeded anything we have previously experienced, with locked gates being smashed and the dumped waste being pre-sorted.
“This was quite a shock discovery and we have been left to pick up the bill.”
Fly-tipping costs farmers and landowners millions of pounds a year but government figures do not account for incidents on private land.
The NFU is calling on members to report incidents and strengthen the case for greater action. Members can contact NFU CallFirst on 0870 8458458 with information.
Alternatively, you can find out more here.
Our recent survey found...
- There has been a change in the pattern of the size of load that is being dumped on members’ land. In 2010/11 60 per cent of all incidents fell into the category of larger loads, but in 2011/12 more than half of all incidents were van-load sized or smaller.
- This could mean that local waste policies are having an impact, with changes to commercial waste and reduced opening hours or even site closures.
- Of the 168 incidents reported to the NFU, only 49 did not result in members incurring any costs.
- The average cost of the other incidents was £170 – up from £122, but clearance costs ranged from £10 right up to £1,200.