A SALISBURY man has been fined £1,200 after being caught dumping loads of builders' waste near Fordingbridge.

Gary John Cooper, of Oaktree Field in Salisbury, was sentenced at Southampton Magistrates Court on Monday, June 25 after being found guilty in May of two counts of fly-tipping.

He was also ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work.

Evidence of an address was left on some of the rubbish dumped and as a result, the 55-year-old was traced by council officials and prosecuted.

Fly-tipped waste including rubble and plasterboard cleared from a farmer’s land in Rockbourne was discarded around a week after Mr Cooper had been caught dumping waste in Hale after the landowner found address evidence amongst the rubbish.

Cooper was also seen leaving the scene of the fly tip by one of New Forest District Council's enforcement officers who was in a marked police car looking at previous loads of waste that had been tipped.

Councillor Alison Hoare, the council's portfolio holder for environment and regulatory services, said: “Fly-tipping is relatively rare in the district but when it does happen we will not hesitate to take action.

"This prosecution sends a clear message to anyone who thinks they can get away with fly tipping in the New Forest.

"We will investigate and we work with police to take offenders to court.

“Dumping waste not only damages the look of the Forest it can also be extremely harmful to wildlife. I would urge anyone seeing any activity that they suspect may be fly tipping to report it to us.”

Fly-tipping costs the district council about £65k a year to clear. But the cost of removing each individual fly-tip can depend on the material and quantity dumped.

Robin Edwards, regional director at the Country Land and Business Association (CLA) South East, which represents landowners and farmers, said: “The CLA welcomes any move which helps tackle the blight of fly tipping, and it is encouraging to see recent convictions in the area.

“It is vital that more prosecutions are brought forward successfully to encourage people to do the right thing and dispose of their rubbish through proper legal channels. Hampshire County Council with its partners, including the CLA, recently launched a fly-tipping strategy putting extra resources into the fight, which we also welcome.

“Fly-tipping is a menace and in many parts of the county the number of incidents is increasing year-on-year.

"It is not a victimless crime. It’s a vicious cycle of costly clean-ups by landowners and farmers who personally bear the burden of waste crime on their land and the threat of prosecution.

“The public play an important role in helping identify and catch offenders and also ensuring that anybody who disposes of waste for them is a registered waste carrier by checking the Environment Agency register. Otherwise they could face a fine if someone else fly tips their waste.

“Therefore, we would urge people to report any incidents or suspicious behaviour to their local authority, with pictures if possible.”

Fly-tipping can be reported to New Forest District Council at newforest.gov.uk to customer.services@nfdc.gov.uk or by calling 023 8028 5000.