Flytippers cost Dunollie charity thousands

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Woodland Trust Scotland is considering using CCTV to catch flytippers dumping waste in Dunollie Woods.

Tipping rubbish is illegal – culprits caught could face a fixed penalty notice of £200 or fines up to £40,000 with up to five years in prison for non-payment if the case goes to court.

Work to remove flytipped material and control invasive plants introduced through dumped garden waste has cost the charity over £3,500 this year at Dunollie alone.

The area at the top of Bealach an Righ near the Corran Halls and at Cruachan Crescent has become a hotspot for dumping.

Junk previously hauled out of the woods by clean-up volunteers have included a four cylinder engine, mattresses, a car chassis, office chairs and bikes.

Laura Corbe who volunteers with work-parties and community groups restoring the woodland to a greener space said: ‘It’s really important that people stop trashing our woods. Dunollie Wood is a beautiful, accessible, wild green space – we don’t have many spaces like that in Oban so we need to look after this one.

‘In times like this, people need to be able to enjoy these spaces for their mental and physical wellbeing – we don’t want flytippers spoiling it for them.’

Woodland Trust Scotland spokesman George Anderson said: ‘We are sick of our woods being used as dumps by selfish people. Householders should be aware that this is a criminal offence. And if a householder hires a tradesman who dumps rubbish illegally then both parties are legally accountable.

‘If you pay someone to do a bit of work, make sure they will use legal routes to dispose of any waste. A cheap contractor can suddenly become expensive if they earn you a fine.

‘Be assured our staff, volunteers and many of the people who enjoy the woods are on the lookout, and we may deploy cameras to gather evidence. We do not intend to just keep clearing up this mess. We will be pursuing consequences for the culprits.’

In June, The Oban Times reported complaints from people living near Cruachan Crescent who claimed abandoned waste was encouraging flytippers.

Residents said the waste was clogging up their car park right next to the woods and was being added to by others wanting to get rid of scrap bits.

Councillor Elaine Robertson said: ‘The Woodland Trust and their local volunteers have to be complimented on the huge improvements they have made to Dunollie Woods.    They have greatly enhanced  this valuable amenity ground for the good of the woodland and the benefit of the whole community.

‘I am saddened to hear that they have encountered an issue with flytipping and if the trust feels CCTV will assist in deterring unauthorised refuse being deposited in the Dunollie Woods, then that is a way forward.’

Concern over litter and waste can be reported online at www.argyll-bute.gov.uk or by calling 01546 605514.

To report fly-tipping you can call the Dumb Dumpers Stopline on 0300 777 2292. Or fill in the online form at www.dumbdumpers.scot