A Moorlands resident is calling for more to be done by councils and the police regarding fly-tipping in the area. Cheadle resident Dean Powell, who is part of the Cheadle Moorlands Litter Pickers group, has contacted the Times & Echo with even more issues surrounding fly-tipping within the area. He has also set out his suggestions on how he feels this issue could be tackled.
A Moorlands resident is calling for more to be done by councils and the police regarding fly-tipping in the area.
Cheadle resident Dean Powell, who is part of the Cheadle Moorlands Litter Pickers group, has contacted the Times & Echo with even more issues surrounding fly-tipping within the area. He has also set out his suggestions on how he feels this issue could be tackled.
Mr Powell said: “Recently there was a fly-tipping incident at the car park at Hawksmoor and both I and many people who live in and around Cheadle are appalled by the fact that people do this in such beautiful countryside.
“I was amazed to learn from a district councillor that cannabis was present in the refuse bags dumped in the car parking area by Hawksmoor. These bags had to be sent to a specialist facility to be disposed of.
“The second incident of fly-tipping seen in recent days was at the pull in just before the Threapwood sign heading out of Cheadle.
“Also I noted litter discarded from parked vehicles building up again at the end of the dead end lane leading to Counslow/Croxden quarry within a couple of weeks since the last litter pick there.
“This is the first turning on the right past Hares Lane heading away from Cheadle just up from the Threapwood sign.
“We have three local fly-tipping and litter discarding hotspots within a mile of each other including the above and the first of the car parks out of Cheadle next to Hawksmoor nature reserve.
“Putting up no littering and no fly-tipping signage may help. CCTV signage may act as a preventative measure as well. Could the council assist to make this happen?”
Mr Powell continued: “Perhaps boulders placed to prevent parking at the two pull ins before the Threapwood sign on theleft just up from the Threapwood sign could be considered also. This would help greatly and end the human driven discarding of litter polluting the wood next to the road. If not boulders then other form of barrier to parking such as wooden post/fencing in keeping with the woodland environment.
“Similar proactive preventative action is needed to disrupt the littering and fly-tipping problem happening at the end of the lane leading to the Counslow/Croxden quarry. I have spoken to someone at the district council about it but no action as yet. This lane in particular is prone to fly-tipping and a huge amount of discarding of litter.
“A few weeks ago I went to the end of the lane by the quarry and filled 13 bags of discarded litter over two half days. This included lots of wine and spirits bottles, plastic bottles, beer cans, fast food containers, empty drug packets, face masks and an array of other litter.
“Drivers and passengers congregate regularly here and drink, use drugs and dump their litter from cars. This is also on the quarry walk public footpath.
“A couple of weeks back I gathered up more litter and noticed that five small fires had been lit under the bramble that has overgrown through the quarry metal fencing.
“There is a large amount of bramble growing on the other side of the fence which could very easily catch fire from the fire setting on the roadside of the fence.
“The bramble on the roadside of the fence needs cutting back which would also stop litter getting trapped in it. Litter plus larger items are thrown over the metal fence so that needs clearing too by the quarry owners.
“I have from time to time thought that putting some rock/boulders a few feet from the quarry fencing and just past the public footpath would help prevent cars parking there which in turn might stop people dumping the litter along either side of the length of the lane which I have cleared of litter too. I have just got to do the road junction end of the lane now. I have also thought it could become a gated lane.
“Incidentally, quite a lot of the litter is thrown into the farmers fields there and on to hedges which could impact on livestock. I clear this too.
“I read that there have been fly-tipping incidents at Winnothdale and litter has been cleared by local residents along New Haden Road which is great.
“I feel that part of the strategy to deal with these issues is to involve police patrols at night to assist with disrupting this behaviour which in essence are rural crimes.
“It is really appalling and impacts negatively on the environment and local wildlife. All this next to a public footpath, beautiful countryside including that which takes you into the Hawksmoor nature reserve on the edge of the Churnet Valley.
“There are people out there walking among us who have complete disregard for the environment, for nature and for our wildlife relatives. I call these members of our species who do this ‘the disconnects.’ I am saddened by what I saw that evening.”
Mr Powell added: “Collectively, we must do what we can to protect our rural environment, lanes, hedges, wildlife and the natural world in and around Cheadle. We must step up our game to stamp this problem out.
“Working together to achieve this includes local residents, local authority officials, police, councillors and local media.”
We contacted both Staffordshire Police and Staffordshire Moorlands District Council (SMDC) about Mr Powell’s concerns and suggestions.
In response Staffordshire Police’s Chief Inspector for the Moorlands Neighbourhood Policing Team Mark Thorley, said: “Fly-tipping is a crime which can take place in rural locations, often due to it being remote, meaning people feel safe to do so.
“Staffordshire police work with the local authorities to target repeat locations and seek to gather evidence to prosecute those who feel it is acceptable to drive miles into the countryside to dump their waste instead of taking it to a registered tip or paying for items to be taken away.
“Rubbish left in rural locations can be a hazard to wildlife and livestock, as well as spoiling the natural beauty of the area.
“Those caught fly-tipping can be prosecuted and conviction can mean unlimited fines, imprisonment, and orders to deprive rights to a vehicle used in the offence.
“If you see fly tipping please report it to your local council and to Staffordshire Police.”
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Staffordshire Moorlands District Council said: “Sadly we have seen a big increase in both littering and fly tipping over the last year and we agree with Mr Powell that it is damaging to our environment and is something that needs addressing.
“There is no excuse for this irresponsible and anti-social behaviour by people who have no care for the consequences or thought for those that have to clear up behind them.
“The council is currently working on plans to highlight this issue, the possible consequences people can face and the steps we’re taking to try and stop it happening and we’ll be sharing more details in the coming weeks.”
The spokesman also confirmed that cannabis waste was found, as described by Mr Powell. They said: “The council can also confirm that cannabis waste was found and was disposed of at the specialist disposal centre – it can’t be disposed of via our normal waste streams.”
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