Multiple piles of fly-tipped waste were found by Dartmoor Rangers, dumped in the popular Haytor and Saddle Tor area last Sunday, September 3.
Dartmoor National Park Authority's Rangers worked with the Police and Highways Agency to clear the rubbish and are now being supported by the Environment Agency and Police to investigate the incident further.
People are being encouraged to come forward with any information about the rubbish that was dumped by calling the 101 phone number, using the log 3/9/23/246.
The fly-tips in a car park, as well as on the common and on public roads, contained broken furniture, a mattress, building waste and scattered rubble, screws and nails.
Dartmoor National Park Authority's Head Ranger Simon Lee said: “Fly-tipping costs public money to deal with - money which could be better spent elsewhere.
“It’s really frustrating for us because it’s completely avoidable - dealing with it takes us away from important conservation duties and other agencies away from their key tasks and responsibilities."
He added that fly-tipping was “dangerous, unpleasant” as well as harmful to the environment, wildlife, grazing livestock and Dartmoor’s delicate biodiversity.
He encouraged the public to report fly-tips to their local council.
Fly-tipping is a criminal offence for which people can be prosecuted. Culprits also run the risk of being fined even if they are not directly responsible for it being dumped. This is why it is important to check that whoever is taking an individual’s rubbish away is properly licensed to do so.
To check if a person/organisation has a waste carrier’s licence (issued by the Environment Agency), visit their website.
Usually, when a fly-tip is on public land it comes under the responsibility of the district council to remove.
If an individual is a private landowner then it is their responsibility to safely dispose of the waste. In this case, as landowner, Dartmoor National Park cleared and disposed of the waste but the cost means funds cannot be spent on valuable conservation projects.
When reporting fly-tipping to a local council, the information a person gives can be helpful in tracking down the culprits. This includes the date and time of the incident, descriptions of the person/people involved, and information about the vehicles, including registration numbers.
Dartmoor National Park Authority is appealing to people to take action themselves to help reduce incidents like this in the future.