It is hard to understand the mentality of fly-tipping in a beautiful place. Or fly-tipping anywhere, to be honest. AFTA, the anti-fly-tipping organisation suggests various factors are at play:

Low-level knowledge of proper waste removal methods.

Convenience (and expense of paying to dispose of waste).

Lack of personal responsibility and accountability, seeing it as a ‘victimless’ crime.

Difficulties enforcing penalties for such behaviour.

They may be factors, but they are still inexcusable.

Multiple piles of fly-tipped waste were found by Dartmoor Rangers, dumped in the popular Haytor and Saddle Tor area last Sunday 3 September. 

Dartmoor National Park Authority’s Rangers worked with the Police and Highways Agency to clear the rubbish and are now being supported by the Environment Agency and Police to investigate the incident further. People are being encouraged to come forward with any information about the rubbish that was dumped on Dartmoor by calling the 101 phone number, using the log 3/9/23/246. 

The fly-tips, in a car park, on the common, and on public roads, contained broken furniture, a mattress, building waste and scattered rubble, screws and nails.

Dartmoor National Park Authority’s Head Ranger Simon Lee said: “Fly-tipping costs public money to deal with, money which could be better spent elsewhere. It’s really frustrating for us because it’s completely avoidable – dealing with it takes us away from important conservation duties and other agencies away from their key tasks and responsibilities.” 

“Fly-tipping is dangerous, unpleasant and harmful to the environment, wildlife, grazing livestock and Dartmoor’s delicate biodiversity. We deal with lots of concerns about fly-tipping and would encourage people to report fly-tips to their local council.”

Fly-tipping is a criminal offence for which you can be prosecuted. You also run the risk of being fined even if you weren’t responsible for it being dumped, so it’s important you check that whoever is taking your rubbish away is properly licensed to do so.

You can check if a person/organisation has a waste carrier’s licence (issued by the Environment Agency) by visiting their website.

Usually, when a fly-tip is on public land it comes under the responsibility of the district council to remove. If you are a private landowner then it is your responsibility to safely dispose of the waste. In this case, as landowner, Dartmoor National Park cleared and disposed of the waste but the cost means funds can’t be spent on valuable conservation projects.

When reporting fly-tipping to your local council, the information you give can be helpful in tracking down the culprits. This includes the date and time of the incident, descriptions of the person/people involved, and information about the vehicles including registration numbers.

Dartmoor National Park Authority are appealing to people to take action themselves, to help reduce incidents like this in the future.

Fly-tipping on Dartmoor