Farmers and landowners are being encouraged to report waste dumped illegally in gateways, fields and hedgerows over the Christmas season.
The Country Land and Business Association (CLA), based in Richmond, North Yorkshire, said fly-tipping in rural areas increased over holiday periods, especially Christmas when households generate more waste than usual that they want to dump, while the days are shorter and darker.
There are concerns that illegally-dumped waste pollutes land and waterways in rural areas and the land and businesses association is campaigning to try to ensure local authorities accept fly-tipped waste left dumped on farmers’ land, without charging the landowner.
Dorothy Fairburn, the association’s north regional director, said: “Waste dumped illegally can contaminate land and rivers and threaten livestock and wildlife.
“If caught, fly-tippers could receive a custodial sentence and be fined up to £50,000.
“In reality, it is the private landowner who is left to settle a large clean-up bill and face prosecution.”
She added: “The CLA is lobbying Government to create a new ticketing scheme that would enable landowners to take fly-tipped rubbish to their local tip free of charge.
“A successful pilot scheme along these lines is currently up and running in Suffolk, proving this is a viable solution.”
The CLA’s action plan to tackle environmental crime calls for the Government to ensure local authorities can accept fly-tipped waste without charge to landowners.
It also calls for an end to the prosecution of landowners who have waste dumped on their land and have to pay to remove it, and the creation of the right policy framework for local authorities to work with police forces on a zero-tolerance approach to the perpetrators.