The handful of agricultural flytipping reports in Dorset out of a total of more than 2,550 incidents is just the “tip of the iceberg” it is warned.

Out of the 2,551 flytipping incidents in the county last year, 24 were reported on agricultural land, according to the latest statistics from the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

This includes 1 in Weymouth and Portland out of a total of 416 incidents, 7 in West Dorset (690 total incidents), 4 in Purbeck (313 total incidents) and 11 in North Dorset (486 total incidents).

But Will Kendrick, of Farmers and Mercantile Insurance Brokers (FMIB), said the true scale of flytipping on farmland is not reflected in the figures, as the statistics exclude the majority of private-land incidents.

Farmers who fall prey to this crime are having to shoulder the burden, responsible for meeting the cost of clearing rubbish from their land themselves – at an average cost of £1,000 per incident. They are also liable if the dumped rubbish damages the countryside.

Mr Kendrick, who advises farmers in the region, said: “Flytipping is a blight on our countryside, but dumped waste is not only visually impactful and a nuisance – it can be a source of pollution and cause harm to humans, animals and the environment.

“This year’s Defra figures show that it is not only everyday household waste that gets dumped by flytippers – thousands of incidents involve asbestos, clinical waste and chemical and fuel waste.

“So, farmers are not only have to fork out for clean-up costs but also have to worry about the danger it poses to themselves, their workers, their animals and their land.

“These flytippers, both thoughtless individuals and unscrupulous ‘waste businesses’, don’t care that their irresponsible actions could lead to farmers being prosecuted under the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

“Innocent farmers have the choice of footing the clean-up bill or facing significant fines for not dealing with someone else’s mess.”

Mr Kendrick stressed the importance of having sufficient protection for farming businesses, particularly in the case of repeat offences.

Farmers can help protect themselves against flytippers by:

* Being vigilant - communicate with neighbours and report suspicious vehicles

* Check what insurance cover is afforded in the event of an incident

* Deter would-be flytippers by ensuring that fields are gated and locked where possible

* If you fall victim to a flytipping incident, be cautious, as the waste could be hazardous. Record as much detail as possible, take photos and report the incident

* If the problem persists, consider setting up security lights and a camera

* Make sure that any rubbish dumped on your land is disposed of properly and, if required, use a reputable, registered waste company to help with disposal

'We will investigate'

KARYN Punchard, Director of the Dorset Waste Partnership, said: “While we cannot remove fly-tipped waste from private land, where there is sufficient evidence the Dorset Waste Partnership (DWP) will continue to investigate all reported incidents. We do support the aims of the Country Landowners Association (CLA) Action Plan against fly-tipping and work with private landowners to provide advice and guidance.

"If you see a fly-tip, make a note of where it is, take a picture if you can and note down any other details. You can report it to us by visiting our fly-tipping webpage ( or call Dorset Direct on 01305 221040.

"Our Tip-Off campaign aims to address the problems around people handing their waste to an unlicensed ‘man in a van’ and what Dorset residents can do to help us in the fight against this illegal and anti-social behaviour. Please visit for more information.”