FOLLOWING recent reports of fly-tipping in Dorset, the Countryside Alliance has offered advice to residents and called for tougher action on the crime.

Earlier this month, Dorset Police reported a large pile of rubbish was left dumped on Lodge Road, Gaunts Common, north of Wimborne.

“The awful images of fly-tipping in Gaunts Common are an all too familiar sight across the country,” said Sarah Lee, director of policy and campaigns for the Countryside Alliance.

“To make serious headway, we need to understand the business of illegal waste disposal and the culture that abets it.

“Fly-tipping, as most know it, has developed over the years. It represents much more than just chucking an unwanted Christmas tree, or a bag of rubbish out of a moving car at the dead of night.”

The issue now, Ms Lee warns, is that fly-tipping has become a ‘business’ and members of the public across the country are unknowingly encouraging it.

Ms Lee said: “If you’re paying under £140 for someone to dispose of your waste, then it’s more than likely going to end up in rural areas.

“We have struggled to find fully licensed waste disposal operations for under £150 and herein lies the problem.

“It’s unclear how many people realise that in order to legally hire a disposal service, it falls on you to establish whether the operator has the correct license.”

Which means anyone who finds a waste disposal service online, or by other means, must ensure they are see a proof of licence so they know the waste is legitimately disposed of and does not get dumped in locations such as Gaunts Common.

The Countryside Alliance director said people can search for the company on the Environment Agency website to make sure they have the correct licence.

Ms Lee added: “By failing to carry out these basic checks, you risk fuelling criminality and blighting our picturesque landscapes.”

The National Fly-tipping prevention group, which the Countryside Alliance is part of, urges people to record as many details about waste when they find it, report the incident, be cautious as it can be hazardous and if fly-tipping is in progress to call 999.