Slimbridge farmer counts the cost of fly-tipping on land
A SLIMBRIDGE farmer is counting the cost after vandals dumped mounds of rubbish on his land.
Fly-tippers backed a vehicle down a public lane and left countless bags of waste in a field bordering the M5.
Dan Moss, 26, was alerted to the unwelcome gift by a neighbour on Saturday, December 15.
"Normally we get a little bit on the lane," he said. "But this is fly-tipping on a commercial scale.
"The amount of stuff that is dumped is horrendous."
The heap of mixed waste contains large amounts of plastics and paperwork, along with chunks of tarmac, barbed wire and a spade.
There are various postal failed delivery notices and paperwork suggesting the waste originated in Bristol.
In order to dump the load a vehicle would have had to drive along Wisloe Road, before travelling up a long muddy lane and backing onto Mr Moss’ land.
Mr Moss and his family are tenant farmers on around 120 acres of land.
They are now facing the grim prospect of paying to dispose of the waste legally, as it cannot be burned and the council says it is not responsible for clearing fly-tips off private land.
The rubbish is just a few feet away from a public path, where it is Stroud District Council’s responsibility to remove waste.
Cllr Haydn Jones, Stroud District Councillor for the Severn ward, said the fly-tippers were "parasites".
"People dropping rubbish is bad enough," he said. "But imagine having to clear this up."
Mr Moss added: "I have no idea what I’m going to do with it. I just want to make the public aware. People dump household waste on the lane all the time."
It comes as the NFU said new government figures showing a decline in fly-tipping incidents were "misleading" as they did not include cases on privately owned land.
The official fly-tipping statistics for England show a nine per cent decrease in the number of incidents on public land between 2010/11 and 2011/12. However, NFU research on fly-tipping on private property shows a 64 per cent increase over the same period.
NFU environment adviser Dr Nicola Dunn said: "It is extremely disappointing that fly-tipping on private land remains a significant problem for farmers. Until the Government acknowledges that action is needed to deal with the problem on all land, we don’t believe the problem will be effectively resolved.
"Farmers are frustrated when they, the victims of a crime, are left to clear up dumped waste and pay the local authority to dispose of it. That’s just not right."
Public Space Service Manager for Stroud District Council, Carlos Novoth, said the public needed to play an active role in helping to catch offenders.
"We are always looking out for evidence to try to bring these people to account," he said.
"We cannot fight these crimes on our own. We need the public to come to us and help clamp down on this crime.
"Somebody must have seen something, it would be great to receive information that we can follow up on."