There aren’t many urban woodland areas left that are still undeveloped but if you’re lucky enough to live near one and love to ramble or dog walk your way through them, you’ll no doubt be confronted with a myriad of rubbish along your journey. From paint tins, old tyres, furniture and mattresses, most urban woodland areas have become an illegal dumping ground for all types of rubbish.

Countryside woodland isn’t immune either, with some unscrupulous firms choosing to dump their waste at the edge of wooded areas which often spills onto the quiet country lanes adjacent to them.

Over the last five years, The Woodland Trust says it’s spent over £1million dealing with the ongoing problem of fly-tipping. Even worse, it spent £200,000 cleaning up woodland sites in 2018 alone; an annual rise of £70,000.

Worst Woodland Fly-Tipping Areas

The worst offender for woodland rubbish dumping was in the north of England, clocking up 576 cleanups costing nearly £64,000. Central England was second with 255 incidents costing around £48,000. This was followed by the south-west with 100 incidents at a cost of nearly £15,000.

Spokesman Darren Moorcroft suggested that the closure of council refuse sites together with additional charges levied on household waste may have contributed to the problem.

He also said that the money spent by The Woodland Trust could have instead been used to plant more trees and protect woods that needed more care. He also warned that if caught, illegal rubbish dumpers could be prosecuted and face a hefty fine if convicted.

Most Woodland Fly Tipped items:

  • Fridges/freezers
  • Carpeting
  • Garden walls/bricks/rubble
  • Baths
  • Mattresses
  • Oil drums
  • Tents
  • A shrine with a sheep’s head!
  • Cars

The Problem With Green Waste

If you wander through woodland with houses backing onto it, you’ll often see green waste such as grass and hedge clippings being dumped nearby by local residents who probably think it’s harmless because it’s purely organic. However, The Woodland Trust also say that even green waste can be a problem as it upsets the natural balance of the ecosystem.

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