DUMPING of hazardous waste is on the rise in the New Forest, according to Forestry England, after two more large flytips were discovered.
On Sunday a haul of household waste, including sofas and a fridge was discovered at Yew Tree Bottom, near Wilverley, during a busy bank holiday weekend in which rangers also had to deal with people petting livestock and illegal boating in a protected pond.
A spokesperson for Forestry England (FE) told the A&T: “The scale and cost of clearing up flytips is considerable, but our funds are limited. It’s money that could be better spent on managing the Forest’s open habitats and providing facilities here in the New Forest.
“It seems that every week we’re finding more illegal flytipping that poses a danger both to people and wildlife.
“Our incident reports show there has been an increase in the dumping of hazardous waste, which in turn increases the amount Forestry England has to spend on disposing of large items and hazardous substances.”
Suspected asbestos roofing panels were among a pile of waste found dumped at Broadley Inclosure, along the Wootton Road near Bashley, on Saturday 22nd August – the fourth fly-tipping incident in the Forest during August to involve the toxic building material.
Measures being taken by FE to prevent flytipping include erecting gates and barriers at some of its sites and installing CCTV in frequently hit areas. The authority also passes on evidence so New Forest District Council can investigate.
The second substantial flytip over the holiday weekend was discovered on National Trust land at Rockford Common, near Ringwood, on Tuesday morning. A paddleboard was also flytipped at Eyeworth Pond, near Fritham.
Patrols by rangers, keepers, police officers and firefighters throughout the three-day weekend involved stopping a group of people from boating on Hatchet Pond, near Beaulieu, in breach of a ban imposed by FE.
The team also cleared three bin bags of apples from near a road at Fritham to prevent animals getting colic and gathering on the roads. Several people had to be told not to feed the ponies at nearby Janesmoor Pond.
The patrols also had to stop a motorist who drove over protected habitats at Wootton, while a local resident reported tyre marks had been gouged into the grass at Longslade Bottom in Brockenhurst.
Responding to a call-out to Balmer Lawn Road in Brockenhurst around 4.45pm on bank holiday Monday, a local fire crew extinguished a barbecue lit by a family. This was despite a blanket ban imposed after hot and dry conditions led to the Forest being declared a high fire risk.
Further barbecues were reported near Aldridge Hill campsite in the village.
Nigel Matthews, national park authority head of recreation management and learning, said: “The majority of people do respect and care for the Forest, and many first-time visitors have been pleased to learn why some things are not allowed in the New Forest.
“Sadly, like many other outdoor areas across the country, we’ve also seen an increase in deliberate anti-social behaviour.”