One thousand tyres, one hundred empty gin bottles and a mini rockery wishing well with four broken garden chairs.
These are just some of the fly-tipping incidents that Jason Coad has dealt with over the years on his mainly arable 180-acre farm near Bodmin, Cornwall.
Burned out cars, vehicle dashboards and lumps of concrete left in gateways by what Jason believes are DIY-ers. Mattresses, three-piece suites, fridges, washing machines, cookers and bags of garden waste are among other items to be dumped on his land.
Jason, the NFU Bodmin group chairman, says dealing with fly-tipped waste usually comes at particularly inconvenient times on the farm.
“It means we have to physically carry it to the dump ourselves as we can’t take it in our trailer because that would be commercial waste,’ he explained. “We have to take it in little lots in the back of a Land Rover. You can’t leave it because it encourages more, and I just don’t like to see it there.”
The work, time and expense involved in clearing up someone else’s illegally dumped material and the impact fly-tipping has on the countryside dismays Jason, whose family have farmed in the Bodmin area for eight centuries. His wife Anna recently collected four bin bags of rubbish thrown from cars on a half-mile stretch of a road that cuts their farm in half.
Jason believes fly-tipping victims, like himself, need assistance. He says it would be huge help if the council would pick-up fly-tipped waste dumped just inside his gateway rather that what is just outside. “The other thing is if we had somewhere really just to take all this stuff that has been dumped on us and not have to pay ourselves to have it taken away.”
His urges people to use places where waste can be dumped legally instead of fly-tipping. “Whatever anybody tips in the countryside, someone has to pick it up.”
The NFU says that 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.