Farmers in Wales are being urged to record and report every incident of fly-tipping on farmland to present the Welsh Assembly Government with a true picture of a problem which is said to cost individual landowners hundreds of pounds a year.
According to recent research, 94% of private landowners have been victims of fly-tipping and pay around £809 for every clear-up.
But, because the Welsh Assembly Government only records rubbish dumped illegally on public land, fly-tipping on farmland does not form part of the national picture.
Dewi Jones, NFU Cymru County Chairman for Anglesey, appealed to farmers to keep a record of fly-tipping and to report incidents of illegally dumped rubbish to NFU Cymru.
And he said farmers wanted to see fly-tipping regulations changed to allow them to remove illegally dumped waste from their land without incurring landfill charges or paying licensed waste carriers to do the job.
“At a time when everyone is cash-strapped, the last thing anyone wants is extra expense,” said Mr Jones at the opening of Anglesey County Show today (Tuesday). “Fly-tipping is on the rise and costs farmers and the environment dearly. But unless we can show the Welsh Assembly Government the extent of the problem we will never get the issue dealt with.”
He knew of one farmer who had had harmful materials including asbestos dumped on his land. This was not only expensive to dispose of but also extremely worrying because of the associated health risk.
“The Welsh Assembly Government statistics currently ignore the problem of fly-tipping on private land, so although our members keep telling us it is a serious issue for them, and these research findings give some estimation of the extent of the problem, the true picture is still unclear,” said Mr Jones. “We need to point out the true scale of the problem with hard facts and we really need farmers to help us collect this data.”
He urged farmers to report incidents to the NFU Cymru hotline, anonymously if wished, on 0870 840 0686.