The NFU is urging households who dispose of waste and rubbish, which ends up dumped on farmland, to take more responsibility or face the risk of prosecution.Fly-tipping is continuing to be a major problem for farmers across the country and this Easter it will be the new focus of the NFU’s successful Love your Countryside campaign which launched last year.In England alone during 2012/13 there were 711,000 incidents of fly-tipping with a case occurring every 44 seconds. It’s estimated around two thirds of farmers are affected by fly-tipping. Items that are routinely dumped include old fridges, chairs, mattresses, tyres and contaminated waste, with farmers and landowners then left to pay the clean-up bill. A previous study revealed the cost of clearing fly-tipped waste from agricultural land was around £47m.The NFU’s aiming to raise awareness of the issue and remind homeowners they have a duty of care to ensure their rubbish is disposed of correctly while encouraging them to report any unscrupulous rogue traders.NFU Deputy President Minette Batters said: “Fly-tipping on private land remains a significant problem for farmers and landowners who are left frustrated when they, the victims of a crime, are left to clear up dumped waste and then made to pay to dispose of it. This waste is not only unsightly, it is a danger to human health, livestock and wildlife and in some cases can pollute watercourses and contaminate land.
“We want homeowners to be more responsible for their actions. They should ensure that any rubbish is taken away by a registered carrier and get a receipt. If not, they run the real risk of being prosecuted if any dumped waste is traced back to them.“Let’s not ruin the view of the great British countryside. We must develop local solutions to tackle the issue by involving local authorities, the Environment Agency, police forces and farmers. By working together on a local level we can find effective solutions to the problem and in turn, back British farming.”