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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Scots dumping rubbish on nature reserves

This news post is over 7 years old

The Scottish Wildlife Trust says it is spending thousands of pounds a year clearing up rubbish including household waste from its nature reserves

Scots are illegally dumping fridges, burned out vehicles, household rubbish and building waste in precious nature reserves across the country, a charity has said.

Seasonal packaging, including Christmas tree boxes, is also a problem at this time of year according to the Scottish Wildlife Trust, which looks after nature reserves across Scotland.

Overall flytipping and littering, which poses a danger to wildlife and conservation efforts, is now costing the charity thousands of pounds a year to tackle.

The total cost of clearing up the trust’s reserves includes staff time as well as hiring contractors to remove large items and hazardous substances such as asbestos and now amounts to around £15,000.

This figure does not include the additional costs of dumped rubbish collected by local authorities from roadsides adjacent to the wildlife reserves, or time spent by local trust volunteers collecting litter.

And further costs are incurred by putting preventative measures in place. These include installing height barriers to trust car parks and reducing public access on some parts of reserves through the erection of gates and closure of tracks.

It’s sad that some thoughtless individuals are dumping their waste on our reserves, forcing us as a charity to use our supporters’ money to clear up after them

The trust’s head of reserves Alan Anderson said: “Fly-tipping is illegal and it poses a danger to both people and wildlife. It’s sad that some thoughtless individuals are dumping their waste on our reserves, forcing us as a charity to use our supporters’ money to clear up after them.

“Unfortunately the actions of a few people mean that many of our staff and volunteers have to spend a great deal of time clearing up rubbish when they could be working on more important projects such as creating and restoring wildlife habitats.”

The worst affected reserves are in the central belt, including urban sites in Irvine and Dundee. However the problem is not confined to urban reserves, with some significant fly-tipping activities also affecting reserves in rural Aberdeenshire, the Scottish Borders and East Lothian.

The trust is urging members of the public to be responsible and vigilant and to report any suspicious activity to the police or their local authority.

Items found on Scottish Wildlife Trust reserves have included:

  • fridges
  • burned-out vehicles
  • bags of household rubbish
  • building and plumbing waste
  • mattresses
  • furniture
  • clothes
  • glass
  • tyres
  • asbestos
  • garden waste
  • animal waste
  • carpets
  • seasonal packaging, including Christmas tree boxes