Banner image: Colleagues clearing up waste left by fly tippers

Sadly, on Thursday 11th August the Forest Centre and Millennium Country Park fell victim to fly tippers.

At around 1.15 in the afternoon a yellow truck was interrupted whilst dumping a load of builders’ waste on the grassland near the entrance to the park. Unfortunately they chose to drive off as vehicles approached, and continued to dump waste down the driveway, across the entrance, and into Gold Furlong.

Image: Waste left by fly tippers

Forest of Marston Vale colleagues from all departments then spent several hours clearing the mess left behind with costs to the charity including skip hire and the time of multiple colleagues for several hours. As well as costing the charity both time and money to clear up, this thoughtless act also spoilt the experience of visitors who were prevented accessing or leaving the Country Park while the driveway was cleared.

Grant Sorrell, Commercial Director, commented “This type of incident is hugely frustrating for our staff and volunteers who work tirelessly to look after the Park and make sure our visitors have the best possible experience. For those of us involved in the clear up, it was a wasted afternoon and for the Trust, an unnecessary expense to properly dispose of the waste”

Image: Skip filled with waste left by fly tippers

Incidents like this can also seriously damage woodlands and habitats, damage that can takes years to recover.

To give some perspective to the wider issue of fly tipping and illegal dumping, official figures from 2020/21 show that 39,000 or 4% of total illegal dumping incidents were of ‘tipper lorry load’ size or larger. For these large fly-tipping incidents, the cost of clearance to local authorities in England in 2020/21 was £11.6 million.

The cost of clearing the incident at The Millennium Country Park came directly from the Forest of Marston Vale trusts own funds, of course having an impact on our budgets to plants more trees and continue to maintain our community woodlands.

Jo Roberts, Community Engagement officer, commented “I find it heart-breaking that people can be so thoughtless when we are working so hard to try and have a positive impact on the environment, and people experiences in our woodlands. We’re a small team, and to be fighting incidents like this makes our jobs that much harder. It’s demoralising”

If you would like to donate to help us plant more trees and maintain our community woodlands then please visit our donations page.

If you come across or witness any fly tipping in Central Beds you can report it to the police or to central Bedfordshire council.

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