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Estates and farms ask for the public’s help in tackling flytipping

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Farms and rural estates are giving their backing to a new campaign aimed at tackling flytipping and littering in rural Scotland.

Care for the Countryside, an initiative launched by Scottish Land & Estates, is focusing on the scourge of rubbish dumping, a problem which is estimated to cost more than £50million per annum.

The organisation, which represents land-based businesses across Scotland, launched Care for the Countryside in response to persistent difficulties that have been identified by those who live and work in rural areas. Other topics for the public awareness campaign include responsible dog ownership – including action around livestock worrying - and responsible mountain-biking, looking at the problem of unauthorised trail building on rural land.

Care for the Countryside’s work around flytipping is designed to ask for the public’s help in reporting incidents of rubbish dumping whilst also understanding the huge cost implications for rural businesses who fall victim to flytipping on their land.

Flytipping has been an increasing problem for farms and estates across Scotland, especially for those located in urban fringe locations. The majority of flytipping incidents in Scotland occur on private land, with landowners left to bear the responsibility and cost of the clean-up operation which can often extend to thousands of pounds and in the process, create financial problems for businesses already operating on tight budgets.   

Karen Ramoo, Policy Officer (Conservation & Wildlife Management) at Scottish Land & Estates, said: “Illegal acts of waste dumping can create a heavy cost to rural businesses that in many instances they can ill afford. However, it is the damage done to our land and rivers that should also be of great concern. Scotland’s rural areas are there to be enjoyed by everyone and we want people to visit and not be put off by selfish acts of flytipping by a mindless minority.

“By promoting responsible access to rural areas through the Care for the Countryside campaign, we hope that it will increase awareness about the problems of flytipping and also encourage the public to report dumping and littering where they see it taking place.”

Scottish Land & Estates’ campaign has been supported by Zero Waste Scotland, an organisation that works with businesses, communities, individuals and local authorities to help them reduce waste, recycle more and use resources sustainably.

David Barnes, Programme Manager, Litter and Flytipping, Zero Waste Scotland, said: “Scotland experiences around 61,000 incidents of flytipping a year – and that’s just on public land. Flytipping is unacceptable, with potential to harm wildlife and livestock and block public access to Scotland’s beautiful landscapes. It’s also costly and time-consuming for the people who take care of our countryside to clear responsibly.

“That’s why we’re working to shift the focus away from simply clearing up other people’s mess and instead preventing flytipping altogether. It’s why we’re calling on community groups, businesses and land owners to join together and take a visible stand against litter and flytipping, creating a Litter Prevention Action Plan where they live and work. It’s also why campaigns like Care for the Countryside are so important, demonstrating the extent of Scotland’s flytipping problem and helping to change attitudes and behaviours for good.”

To read more about the Care for the Countryside campaign, visit http://www.scottishlandandestates.co.uk/

 

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