OVER 80,000 fly-tipping cases on public land were reported to local councils across the West Midlands last year.

New figures released by DEFRA showed the figures for the West Midlands, and 1.09 million fly-tipping incidents on public land reported to local councils between April 2021 to March 2022.

The Country Land and Business Association, which has a membership of around 27,000 rural businesses and landowners across England and Wales, believes that these figures only represent half of the story.

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The organisation believes that the figures only account for waste that has been dumped illegally on public land and does not include incidents which have occurred on privately-owned land.

Causing significant financial burden and environmental impact to the land or business owner, this highlights the need for change within the current fining and imprisonment laws.

Sophie Dwerryhouse, Midlands regional director, said: “These figures barely show the full extent of this crime which is having a devastating effect on the rural economy and communities.

"The system needs to be inclusive of private land and business owners so that the true extent of this issue can be evaluated and dealt with.

"The perpetrators have little or no consideration of the effect of their actions, with no thought about the impact of their crime on the environment, wildlife and landowners who have the financial burden of removing their waste.

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"The penalties for fly-tipping, which are rarely enforced, need to be tougher to help remove this eyesore on our beautiful countryside.”

The CLA Midlands represents thousands of farmers, landowners and rural businesses in counties across the region.

Local authorities are responsible for the removal of fly-tipping from public land and public highways, including verges, footpaths and bridleways, but not private land.