An Essex farmer plagued by fly-tippers is facing another huge clean-up bill after 20 lorryloads of industrial waste were dumped on his farm.
Ruthless waste criminals cut the padlock off a metal gate and dumped load after load of bricks, rubble and soil in a field in East Hall Lane, at Berwick Ponds Farm, Rainham.
Shocked farmer Harry Fisher checked the field at 8.30pm on Tuesday (30 May) and it was clean, but he arrived the following morning (Wednesday 31 May) at 6am to find the mounds of waste.
See also: Video – My farm is a fly-tipping warzone
“We have been hit big time. It’s going to cost us a lot of money and time to clear it up,” said Mr Fisher.
“I hope the authorities will look at our ‘stewardship headlands’ and realise more must be done to tackle fly-tipping on farms.”
The latest incident has been reported to the Environment Agency. An insurance officer from NFU Mutual is due to visit the farm on Thursday (1 June) to assess the damage and calculate the cost of the clean-up bill.
“There could be another claim, which is not doing our premiums any good,” said Mr Fisher.
At the road entrance, a sign from Havering council warns would-be waste criminals: “No Fly-tipping. Max penalty £50,000 & or two years imprisonment.
“Hidden CCTV cameras maybe (sic) in use. Offenders will be prosecuted.”
But the warning sign did not deter the fly-tippers.
Mr Fisher said he would contact the council to find out if any footage was recorded of lorries entering the area around the time of the incident. He is also considering buying his own CCTV cameras.
In addition, he said he plans to place concrete blocks in front of his fields to prevent fly-tippers from entering.
“It will take us 30 minutes every morning to remove the blocks with a telehandler so we can get a tractor into the fields and 30 minutes every night to put them back,” he added.
Tenancy given up
Mr Fisher, who farms 240ha growing potatoes and cereals, has already had to give up a 38ha tenancy at nearby Aveley because it was repeatedly targeted by fly-tippers.
“It cost £50,000 to clean up the mess,” he said. “Since then, the landlord has been broken into and had more fly-tipping there.
“It’s getting to the point where you might as well shut all the gates and not bother farming at all.”
Mr Fisher estimates between 10 to 15% of his time is now spent dealing with fly-tipping incidents and the inconvenience they cause.
Has your farm been targeted by fly-tippers recently? Email your pics to email@example.com to help Farmers Weekly raise awareness of the blight of fly-tipping on farms for our Stop The Blot campaign.