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Ayrshire estate supports action to address flytipping

Landowners encourage Care for the Countryside in new campaign

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An Ayrshire estate is lending its support to a new campaign aimed at tackling flytipping and encouraging responsible access to Scotland’s countryside.

Based near the village of Dalmellington, Craigengillan Estate has experienced problems with illegal rubbish dumping and is offering its backing to a new initiative called Care for the Countryside, which is designed to raise awareness about some of the persistent problems facing rural Scotland. The campaign is organised by Scottish Land & Estates and has received support from organisations such as Zero Waste Scotland and Scottish Natural Heritage.

Flytipping is estimated to cost the Scottish economy more than £78million per annum – but that figure does not include often unquantified clean-up costs borne by farmers and landowners each year.

Craigengillan has experienced recurring problems with dumping of waste on its land. The estate is open and welcoming to visitors but one resulting drawback has been the easy access for vehicles to discard large items of domestic and commercial waste. Those areas not accessible to vehicles, such as around the Ness Glen river gorge and Dalcairnie Falls, can be kept meticulously clean by the estate - which also discourages people from dropping litter in the first place.

One clean-up operation, which was assisted by funding from Zero Waste Scotland’s Flytipping Small Grant Scheme, saw two tonnes of waste which had been illegally dumped removed from the estate. This took a total of 258 volunteer hours over six days to complete.

Mark Gibson, owner of Craigengillan Estate, said: “It is hugely frustrating when flytipping takes place. It places a burden on the estate and uses resources which could be channelled in much better ways. Worse than that, however, is the lack of care shown to the land. We want people to enjoy the estate, and rural areas more generally, and such acts needlessly scar the countryside.Lambs and calves can get cut by broken glass, birds and mammals can get their feet trapped in discarded cans and wire whilst fish and birds can choke on plastic.

“We support the Care for the Countryside campaign as it aligns with the positive message we have delivered to local schools who come to visit Craigengillan. The more we can encourage people to cherish our countryside and what it provides to Scotland, the more we hope we can tackle the issue of illegal flytipping in future years.”

Anyone who drops litter can be issued with an £80 fixed penalty notice, with failure to pay risking prosecution and a fine of up to £2,500. If caught flytipping, a fixed penalty notice of £200 could apply or if taken to court, a fine of up to £40,000 or imprisonment.

David Barnes, Programme Manager, Litter and Flytipping, Zero Waste Scotland, said: “Scotland experiences around 61,000 incidents of flytipping a year – and that’s just on public land. Flytipping is unacceptable, with potential to harm wildlife and livestock and block public access to Scotland’s beautiful landscapes. It’s also costly and time-consuming for the people who take care of our countryside to clear responsibly.

“That’s why we’re working to shift the focus away from simply clearing up other people’s mess and instead preventing flytipping altogether. It’s why we’re calling on community groups, businesses and land owners to join together and take a visible stand against litter and flytipping, creating a Litter Prevention Action Plan where they live and work. It’s also why campaigns like Care for the Countryside are so important, demonstrating the extent of Scotland’s flytipping problem and helping to change attitudes and behaviours for good.”

Karen Ramoo, Policy Officer (Conservation & Wildlife Management) at Scottish Land & Estates, said: “Illegal acts of waste dumping can create a heavy cost to rural businesses that in many instances they can ill afford. However, it is the damage done to our land and rivers that should also be of great concern. Scotland’s rural areas are there to be enjoyed by everyone and we want people to visit and not be put off by selfish acts of flytipping by a mindless minority.

“By promoting responsible access to rural areas through the Care for the Countryside campaign, we hope that it will increase awareness about the problems of flytipping and also encourage the public to report dumping and littering where they see it taking place.”

To read more about the Care for the Countryside, visit www.scottishlandandestates.co.uk. For more information on Zero Waste Scotland, visit www.zerowastescotland.org.uk

 

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