THE association representing rural landowners has warned members to prepare for a potential increase in fly-tipping.

The CLA says the closure of household recycling centres due to the coronavirus pandemic, as well as the scaling back of bin collections in some areas, could lead to more waste being dumped in rural areas.

Association regional director Michael Valenzia said: “It is shocking to hear reports of fly-tipping incidents especially at this time of lock-down.

"The closure of tips is understandable, but can’t be used as an excuse to dump rubbish in our countryside.

“Farmers and landowners are victims of this crime, yet have to clear up fly-tipped waste from their land, which we estimate costs on average about £900 per incident.

"If they don’t they face prosecution themselves, while the environmental impact is also considerable, especially if items such as asbestos are dumped.”

The CLA is encouraging landowners and farmers, along with the public, to report any fly-tipping incidents to BCP and Dorset councils.

The association says landowners can go some way to preventing fly-tipping on their land by ensuring gates to fields are locked, opening up concealed entrances so they more visible to passers-by, using CCTV in black spots and reporting all instances to the police or local authority.

Tips have been closed across Dorset.

Dorset Council waste services (previously known as the Dorset Waste Partnership) has suspended all garden waste kerbside collections so as to prioritise rubbish, food waste and recycling collections.

Councillor Tony Alford said at the time: “Please help us help you. Keep hold of your garden waste or home compost until the coronavirus public health guidance is relaxed.

"Do not burn it. Do not dump it elsewhere as this is fly-tipping and is illegal.

"We all need to play our part in coping with the current restrictions to our usual routines and dealing with your waste responsibly is a major part of that. Thank you for your co-operation.”

Fly-tipping can be reported to local councils via, or anonymously to Crimestoppers by phoning 0800 555 111.