A South Yorkshire farmer is calling for the council to tackle a persistent problem with fly-tipping on his 500 acre farm, which is costing him hundreds of pounds to remove.
Michael Longford, aged 61, has lived and worked at Hall Farm, Rotherham for the majority of his life, but in recent months he has been blighted by a ongoing issue with fly-tipping that is causing strain between the owners of the estate and himself.
The farm, which is situated close to Ulley reservoir, sits on a 500 acre plot of land owned by the Lord of Halifax, and has been rented by Michael’s family for three generations.
He said: “We now have to deal with fly-tipping on a regular basis, around once or twice a week we have to remove the rubbish. I’ve contacted the council about the issue but they just say well it’s your land so it’s your responsibility.
“We’re incurring the costs to take it away, it can cost around £100 for a skip or more. It's been going on for months, there’s all sorts left there. Everything from a kitchen sink to a bed and various furniture and sometimes there can even be cannabis growing matter.”
And, Michael says he is now getting grief from the estate because of the recurring problem.
“It’s been getting worse in recent months,” he added. “With Christmas coming up I think it might get even worse. It looks like it could be van loads or small tipper style trucks that come and dump the rubbish.
“We never seem to catch them, may be they come in the early hours of the morning or late at night. The council have put signs up saying no fly-tipping but it doesn’t stop them and we never catch anyone.”
In despair, Michael decided to put measures in place to deter fly-tippers, but all attempts have failed to rid them of the rubbish.
He said: “We’ve put tonne blocks, which we lifted with the forklift, on the entrance to the land and near the gates. We make it so they can't get in one gateway but they just get into another, or put the rubbish through hedges.
“And we have to constantly move the blocks to get machinery in, when we go to spray the fields or do other work, it isn’t practical.”
He says despite sending Rotherham council numerous letters, the issue does not seem to be getting any better and he has even written to Environmental Health for help.
A spokesperson for Rotherham Council said: “We are investigating fly-tipping and other waste offences in this area and we are progressing potential legal proceedings. Therefore it would not be appropriate to comment further till this has concluded."