Farmer turns private eye in dumping row

IPSWICH-based farmer Tom Walne today told how he turned private eye because he's so fed up with the fly tippers who are turning his land into a dump.He and his son Jim started trawling through black bags of rubbish left on their land to find copies of bills to identify who had dumped them there.

IPSWICH-based farmer Tom Walne today told how he turned private eye because he's so fed up with the fly tippers who are turning his land into a dump.

He and his son Jim started trawling through black bags of rubbish left on their land to find copies of bills to identify who had dumped them there.

They then reported the people to the Environment Agency – now they are waiting to see if they will take any action.

Mr Walne, 69, runs Walnut Tree Farm on Old Norwich Road in Whitton.

He said: "We see all sorts of things. A few weeks ago we had some black bags of rubbish dumped on our drive – between 3.30pm and 4.45pm in the afternoon.

"It was domestic waste – there were even dirty nappies in it."

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"Further down the Old Norwich Road towards Claydon a heap of ivy was dumped and three weeks before that, we had a heap of asbestos.

"On another piece of land that we look after in Paper Mill Lane, 19 heaps of tree-toppings were dumped, as well as the few odd fridges and kids' toys."

The barrage of fly-tipped waste has seen Mr Walne turn detective. Rooting through the black bin bags dumped, Mr Walne and his son found three household bills.

They have now passed these on to the Environment Agency, which is investigating.

"The Environment Agency officers told us they had been to see the chap whose name was on the bills and he told them the bins had been in his front garden and had mysteriously disappeared," said Mr Walne.

"Apparently someone had stolen his rubbish!"

Dave Knagg, environment management team leader for the Environment Agency, said: "We have spoken to the person we suspect to see what the reasons are for the waste being found on Mr Walne's land.

"The next step will be to see if we have enough evidence to take it before magistrate's court."

Tim Swain, streetcare manager for Mid Suffolk District Council, said Paper Mill Lane and parts of the Old Norwich Road were particular hotspots.

He said: "I would agree that these sites are affected. Paper Mill Lane is a quiet, back lane. It is similar to the old A45 [the Old Norwich Road] in between Ipswich and Claydon.

"There is a bit along there where there are bollards so only buses can used it. It is a very, very quiet road so you can dump what you like without being spotted."

However Mr Swain claimed Mid Suffolk Council – which spends £10,000 a year on contractors to clear up dumped waste – does not have too bad a problem with fly tipping.

He said: "We don't actually have a desperately serious problem. We have had 154 incidents of fly tipping over the past seven months, so we would expect about 300 over the year.

"There is a far greater amount of business waste dumped. I don't believe there is that much household waste.

"I think it is because it is difficult and expensive for businesses to get rid of it in any other way.

"We would like to see more responsibility from those who are dumping.

"Unless you actually witness it, it is very difficult to prove, but working with the Environment Agency, we have managed to have a couple of prosecutions."

If you are aware of any fly tipping incidents, you can call the Environment Agency's 24-hour hotline on 0800 807060.

You can call the Evening Star's Dump the Dumpers hotline on 01473-324788 if you know of any fly tipping hotspots – and Ipswich council has its own hotline on 01473-433000.

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