A HUNT is under way for a fly-tipper who dumped over half a tonne of asbestos roofing in an east Dorset woodland.

The hazardous waste was ditched at Uddens Plantation last week.

The Forestry Commission, which owns the land, had to arrange for specialist vehicles to remove the fly-tipped waste from the area, which is frequented by dog walkers.

Anyone who recognises where the waste has come from is now being urged to get in touch.

“Huge piles of roofing panels and other waste were dumped near the old thatch in the woods and were spotted by members of the public on Wednesday, March 7," a Forestry Commission spokesperson said.

“This recent incident is another example of the lack of respect some people have for the forest, its residents and wildlife. Working together, the Forestry Commission and the local authority investigate fly-tips in an effort to trace it back to the offenders."

It is believed that a large lorry was used to dump the rubbish over the course of several trips.

The spokesperson added: “Householders and businesses need to be aware of their own responsibilities for making sure their waste is disposed of properly and check the person they are using is licensed to do so."

East Dorset district councillor Andy Skeats, who represents the West Moors and Holt ward, said: "Shame on those responsible."

“As portfolio holder for community, I am disappointed that some people think it’s acceptable to do this is to our lovely part of East Dorset.

“Unfortunately, like most counties, Dorset is subject to persistent fly-tipping, and the number of incidents is continuing to increase, in line with national trends.

“Asbestos can be disposed of at Dorset Waste Partnership household recycling centres in Blandford and Wareham, and it is disappointing to see people choosing not to follow the correct procedures on this occasion,” he added.

Charlie Wild, project officer for campaign group Litter Free Dorset, said dumping rubbish was “illegal, dangerous, costly to clear up, and looks a mess”.

“But most importantly it’s very easy to avoid in the first place,” she said.

“Litter Free Dorset are saddened to see an individual purposely fly tipping. Dorset has some truly amazing wildlife and biodiversity that live in the verges. We are currently running the #LoveYourVerge campaign that encourages people to appreciate what we have here in Dorset along our roadsides, and to not treat it as a glorified bin.

“People need to do their bit to help keep Dorset litter free.”

Anyone with information about the fly-tip at Uddens Plantation is asked to call the Forestry Commission on 0300 067 4601.