South Yorkshire farmer calls for council to tackle persistent fly-tipping problem

Michael Longford is a farmer at Hall Farm, which has been with the family for over three generations. In recent months he has been experiencing fly tipping on his land.
Michael Longford is a farmer at Hall Farm, which has been with the family for over three generations. In recent months he has been experiencing fly tipping on his land.

A South Yorkshire farmer is calling for the council to tackle a persistent problem with fly-tipping on his 500 acre farm, which is costing him hundreds of pounds to remove. 

Michael Longford, aged 61, has lived and worked at Hall Farm, Rotherham for the majority of his life, but in recent months he has been blighted by a ongoing issue with fly-tipping that is causing strain between the owners of the estate and himself. 

Michael has had to put blocks on the land to deter fly tippers

Michael has had to put blocks on the land to deter fly tippers

The farm, which is situated close to Ulley reservoir, sits on a 500 acre plot of land owned by the Lord of Halifax, and has been rented by Michael’s family for three generations. 

READ MORE: SHEFFIELD TRAM CRASH: One person injured as picture of mangled car wreck emerges 

He said: “We now have to deal with fly-tipping on a regular basis, around once or twice a week we have to remove the rubbish. I’ve contacted the council about the issue but they just say well it’s your land so it’s your responsibility.

“We’re incurring the costs to take it away, it can cost around £100 for a skip or more. It's been going on for months, there’s all sorts left there. Everything from a kitchen sink to a bed and various furniture and sometimes there can even be cannabis growing matter.”

Michael says he incurring costs to remove the rubbish

Michael says he incurring costs to remove the rubbish

And, Michael says he is now getting grief from the estate because of the recurring problem.

READ MORE: Boy, 16, in coma in Sheffield Children’s Hospital after attempted murder

“It’s been getting worse in recent months,” he added. “With Christmas coming up I think it might get even worse. It looks like it could be van loads or small tipper style trucks that come and dump the rubbish.

“We never seem to catch them, may be they come in the early hours of the morning or late at night. The council have put signs up saying no fly-tipping but it doesn’t stop them and we never catch anyone.”

Rubbish is being left once or twice a week on the surrounding farm land

Rubbish is being left once or twice a week on the surrounding farm land

In despair, Michael decided to put measures in place to deter fly-tippers, but all attempts have failed to rid them of the rubbish. 

He said: “We’ve put tonne blocks, which we lifted with the forklift, on the entrance to the land and near the gates. We make it so they can't get in one gateway but they just get into another, or put the rubbish through hedges.

READ MORE: CHRISTMAS: Here’s nine festive markets and fairs taking place in South Yorkshire this month

“And we have to constantly move the blocks to get machinery in, when we go to spray the fields or do other work, it isn’t practical.”

He says despite sending Rotherham council numerous letters, the issue does not seem to be getting any better and he has even written to Environmental Health for help. 

A spokesperson for Rotherham Council said: “We are investigating fly-tipping and other waste offences in this area and we are progressing potential legal proceedings. Therefore it would not be appropriate to comment further till this has concluded."