Fly-tipping 'scourge of the countryside' amid lockdown

The closure of recycling centres across Northern Ireland amid the coronavirus shutdown has presented local councils with the problem of fly-tipping.

The Ulster Farmers Union says people illegally dumping rubbish in the countryside is "spiralling out of control".

They said it is posing a danger to public health, livestock and wildlife - and have called for action to be taken.

“Fly-tipping has become the scourge of the countryside,” said Victor Chestnutt from the UFU.

“Northern Ireland’s rural roads and hedgerows have fallen foul to the actions of fly-tipping with the inappropriate disposal of waste increasing greatly in recent days.”

Fly-tipping has been a problem across parts of the UK since the Covid-19 lockdown measures were introduced.

The Countryside Alliance has reported a 300% rise in fly-tipping in some areas.

The rural communities campaign group blame people using the lockdown to have a "clear-out of homes and gardens" and dumping the resulting rubbish illegally.

ClearWaste, an app that allows the public to report fly-tipping, shows nearly 4,000 examples of fly-tipping in England alone.

Meanwhile a number of leading rural and environmental organisations in Scotland joined forces to urge "people not to be selfish".

The Ulster Farmers Union said all instances of fly-tipping should be reported to the local council to be investigated.