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Fly-tipping viewed as a smaller issue in region

By North Devon Journal  |  Posted: May 08, 2014

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A FLY-TIPPING scourge on farmland may be less apparent in North Devon because of the rural nature of the area compared with other parts of the county.

Farming leaders locally say the position isn't as bad in the area, despite the cost of dumping rubble, tyres and plaster board.

Their comments come during a National Farmers' Union campaign to stop people throwing rubbish on farmland and causing farmers a headache in clearance and costs.

"It does happen around here, but it's not a big problem," said Brian Butler of the NFU on Torridgeside.

"There's less population and because it's more rural there's probably more appreciation and understanding. Some of it does get thrown in woodland and laybys.

"We used to get cars dumped in the countryside but less so now there's a decent scrap value in cars."

Mr Butler recognised the help of council offices who sometimes take away the worst items when farmers find their land's been used as a tip.

During the Easter break the NFU reactivated its campaign titled Love Your Countryside, explaining how last year there were 711,000 incidents of fly-tipping with a case occurring every 44 seconds.

The union estimates two thirds of farmers are affected by fly-tipping including old fridges, chairs, mattresses, tyres and contaminated waste.

They are often left to pay the clean-up bill of around £47 million on agricultural land.

The union's Devon spokesman, Ian Johnson, said: "It's a perennial problem but tends to be bigger where there are more people who want to do it.

"I know there are some trades people who add an amount on the bill to the householder for disposing of their waste and then go and dump it in the countryside.

"And a lot of people regard organic waste in a different light, thinking it will all rot down but it doesn't apply because some weeds and yew clippings for instance can be very damaging to cattle, with their complex digestive system.

"Glass and things like that can be positively lethal."

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