Pornography, burnt out cars and fitted kitchens being dumped in woodlands across the country is costing a wildlife charity hundreds of thousands of pounds to clear up.
Fly-tipping and littering in properties owned by the Woodland Trust has cost the charity more than £500,000 to clear, and dealing with flytipping alone has cost it more than £90,000.
While the problem is not at its worst in the 19 woods, totalling more than 1,000 acres, that the Woodland Trust manages in Gloucestershire, people throwing litter and tipping in the county’s woods is expensive enough.
Lewis Morrison, Woodland Trust site manager for Gloucestershire, said: “In Gloucestershire during the last six months the Trust has had to clear up litter and fly tipped waste at two of our woods on four separate occasions, costing almost £1,000 in total. I would like to remind people that fly tipping is a criminal offence, and not only is it unsightly but can pose a real danger to our native flora and fauna.”
One of the worst instances in the county was at The Trust’s Cadora Woods near Redbrook. It had to spend more than £700 to clear up 120 fly tipped tyres amongst other things, there have been three separate instances recorded.
Norman Starks, Woodland Trust UK Operations Director, said: “Not only is fly tipping illegal, costing us tens of thousands of pounds which could be spent on caring for woods, but it provides a real danger to our native flora and fauna.
“Trees are facing an unprecedented level of threat from disease, pests and development and we need people to help protect them, rather than add to this threat. We cannot assume trees and woods will be around forever if we keep treating them this way.”
Mr Starks added: “It’s also important to remember that ‘natural’ litter such as dead wood is a unique habitat for a large number of wildlife species so if people come across fallen timber when visiting a wood, to please leave it where it lies.”
The top 10 discarded items in the Trust’s woodlands nationwide are: pornography, fitted kitchens, car tyres, sofas, mattresses, asbestos, caravan, burnt out car, horse manure, animal carcasses and chemical waste.
The Woodland Trust’s woods in this county include Lineover Wood at Dowdeswell, This England Wood at Slad, Churchdown Hill in Churchdown, Barber Wood in Coberley and Nut Hill in Upton St Leonards.
For more information about visiting the Trust’s woods in Gloucestershire, or nationwide, and what there is to do there, visit woodlandtrust.org.uk/visiting-woods.