Up to 100 tonnes of processed commercial waste has been dumped on a farm in Shropshire by fly-tippers.
The owners of Hill End Farm in Claverley, near Bridgnorth, were shocked to find the mountains of waste blocking the pathway to their sheds when they came to feed their sheep on Friday morning.
Shredded paper, cardboard and possibly even medical rubbish had been partly processed and shredded before being left on the private land, an amount which is will likely cost thousands of pounds to remove.
The fly-tippers broke a lock to gain access to the land before leaving the waste behind.
Andrew Nicholls, who owns the farm, said: “The Environment Agency think there’s 80 to 100 tonnes of shredded refuse.
“They reckon there’s been three or four lorries to drop this off, or one that has had to keep coming back.
“My son was driving by at about 9am and did a double take. He couldn’t believe it.
“They dumped it, closed the gate, put a cable tie around it and left. If you’d have driven by quickly you wouldn’t have noticed any different, and the neighbours around the site didn’t hear anything.”
Mr Nicholls said that it could cost him thousands of pounds to remove the waste.
“You can’t believe it. In this day and age you’re rarely surprised by things – we get burnt out cars and all sorts – but I can’t believe this,” he said.
“I know everybody things farmers drive around in Range Rovers and don’t do anything, but we’re on a very tight budget. We can’t afford something like this.
“What’s most perplexing is we can’t get to the animals. This has meant we need to carry bags over the fence to feed them, but now we can’t move them without moving fences and knocking holes in hedges.”
Because it’s private land, Mr Nicholls will now have to get a quote for the waste’s removal and pay for it himself.
“The Environment Agency say the fly-tippers have saved themselves thousands and thousands of pounds, and it does make you wonder if it’s organised.
The only sly ray of hope that we have is that if they catch somebody, we might get some compensation but that seems very unlikely.
“I now have to find a company and pay for it before it starts to stink. The worry is that it rains, it starts to seep and it costs me even more to remove.”
The Envionmental Agency and Shropshire Council were quick to react to the news, Mr Nicholls said.
“Everybody has been very helpful,” he said.
“They’ve been very good. There’s been helpful numbers to call, and they’ve been very quick.
The Environment Agency and police are now investigating the crime, examining the waste to see if it can be traced back to the people who abandoned it.
Officials will examine if the waste is linked to other large-scale fly-tipping in the Telford area.
Mr Nicholls added: “Fly-tipping seems to be becoming more and more frequent. All of our gates now have to be locked. We’re going to have to build barriers to block all of this off so that people can’t get through. It’s awful.”Subscribe to our Newsletter