Fly-tippers have been branded ‘shameful’ and ‘selfish’ after dumping a load of rubbish next to a Sheffield nature reserve.
Walkers were horrified to find what appeared to be the bulk of a house clearance left on Moss Road, Totley, on Saturday.
Mattresses, two TVs and children’s toys were among the pile dumped on the edge of Blacka Moor.
Lib Dem city councillor for Dore and Totley Colin Ross said a message should be sent to those responsible.
He said: “Blacka Moor is a really popular place used by walkers, mountain bikers and bird watchers. It’s an absolute shame when people despoil the area by this sort of action.
“Clearly they do it as a money-saving thing. They just dump it without thought to anyone else or the environment. If we can catch this people and make an example of them, hopefully we can discourage others.”
Blacka Moor is one of a number of reserves managed by the Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust.
Living landscape manager Nabil Abbas said: “The people who do it are irresponsible and selfish. There aren’t many of them but it does happen every so often. It happens in the car park on Hathersage Road.”
“It blocks access to a public byway and it creates a hazard for users.”
Mr Abbas said there is no obvious solution to the problem of fly-tipping, which inevitably happens at night in isolated areas. He said: “It’s very difficult because there are a lot of dark lanes around the countryside. If it became a consistent problem we could look at putting in trail cameras.
“I hope it doesn’t become a regular occurrence.”
The city council deals with fly-tipping within its borders, but the area of Moss Road was described as a ‘hot potato’ by Mr Abbas because it is right on the Derbyshire border.
North East Derbyshire District Council said it had not received any reports of fly-tipping in the area, and the rubbish has not yet been moved.
Walker Alison Honnor, who spotted the fly-tipping on Saturday and posted pictures on Facebook, said: “I thought it was an outrage and showed a complete lack of regard for Sheffield’s beautiful moorlands and the people who use it.
“I simply cannot understand why anyone would be so mindless as to dump a huge load of household waste in the countryside.
“Obviously it creates a hideous eyesore, but more than that it presents a real danger to people, wildlife and livestock in the area. Animals are at particular danger from suffocation from the plastic bags and injury from broken glass and other sharp objects.
“Then there is the unfairness of the financial cost of getting the council to clear up the mess at a time when budgets, even for essential services, are already over-stretched. And on a practical level surely if you can make the effort to get your vehicle to this place – and access is not particularly easy – surely it would be less trouble to go to the council tip.
“It’s been suggested that this might be the result of someone taking money to do a house clearance and dumping the rubbish rather than paying for the waste disposal – in which case I hope someone will be able to extract personal identification from the litter so they can be tracked down and fined.”