LANDOWNERS across the country have said it is “time to get tough” on fly-tipping.

New proposals on how to deal with the offence have been put forward by the Country Land and Business Association (CLA), an organisation made up of people who own land and property in rural England and Wales.

The calls come after a survey conducted by Farmers’ Weekly and CLA Insurance revealed that almost two thirds of farmers and landowners have been affected by fly-tipping and over half agree it is a significant issue in their area.

CLA Yorkshire committee member George Winn-Darley, owns Aldby Park country estate at Buttercrambe, which suffers from multiple incidents of fly-tipping each year.

At the beginning of the year, his team spent a total of 46 hours clearing fly-tipped rubbish and furniture along road verges, using a tractor and trailer, at a total cost of around £800.

Two tractor trailer loads of rubbish were removed.

Both Ryedale District and East Riding of Yorkshire councils regularly collect fly-tipped material from the roadside – in one instance, a discarded asbestos shed, posing a potential health risk.

While supportive of these actions, Mr Winn-Darley said: “It would make sense for councils to avoid clearing up in the first instance by strategically placing CCTV cameras in fly-tipping hotspots, and to gain evidence that would lead to successful prosecutions.”

The CLA has launched a five-point action plan that it believes should be adopted to tackle the “scourge of fly-tipping blighting the countryside”.

As well as seizing vehicles to act as a deterrent, the CLA recommends enforcing fines for home and business owners whose waste is found in fly-tipped locations and appointing a “fly-tipping tsar” to co-ordinate with national agencies on the scale of this organised crime.

The plan also proposes developing new ways to clear up and support victims so that private landowners are not liable as well as educating the public on this anti-social behaviour and working in partnership to help reduce waste crime through best practice.

CLA president Ross Murray said: “It’s not just the odd bin bag that is being fly-tipped, but tonnes of hazardous waste, mattresses being set alight in woodland and even a dead horse dumped on private land because the perpetrators know they can get away with it.”

According to figures published by Defra earlier this year, out of 936,000 fly-tipping incidents in 2015/2016 only 129 vehicles were seized, and out of 2,135 prosecutions only 77 fines of more than £1,000 were imposed.

In the Farmers’ Weekly and CLA Insurance survey, some 85 per cent of respondents have taken measures to protect their land such installing gates or barriers, padlocking entrances and using CCTV, but only 13 per cent have insured their farm business against fly-tipping.

Most victims surveyed said they had been targeted on multiple occasions, around two to three times per month.