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Illegal dump in Dungeness National Nature Reserve angers residents

By Sean Axtell

A nature reserve rich with wildlife has been turned into an illegal dumping ground strewn with commercial waste.

Huge cookers, a fridge, banners, and what appears to be catering equipment was today discovered dumped in the Dungeness National Nature Reserve, Lydd, Romney Marsh.

In March, just days before Shepway District Council (SDC) launched a litter picking campaign, a sofa, two armchairs and a foot stool were dumped along Coast Road, Littlestone.

Photo by Michael Coombe

Dog-walker Michael Coombe, 43, from Lydd, told of his frustration on discovering the unsightly haul.

Mr Coombe, who works at the EDF power station, said: “I can’t see any reason for this behaviour apart from financial gain, and that is no excuse.

“It’s a big bug bear of mine, it’s right on the edge of the nature reserve.

“I was walking my dog down Dengemarsh Road, I can’t say what suddenly went through my mind when I saw it all.

“It looks like it’s rubbish taken out of a club house or pub refurbishment, I don’t think it has been there for long.”

Photo by Michael Coombe

SDC and RSPB Dungeness have been contacted for comment.

Dumping rubbish illegally is a criminal offence and carries a maximum fine of £20,000, the rubbish's owners can also be prosecuted.

Floods of users took to Facebook page The Real Marsh Watch to echo Mr Coombe’s frustration.

Clair White said: “There is no excuse whatsoever for this.

Cynthia Hayward added: "I hope there is something in it to identify these people."

Largely speaking, when waste is dumped illegally on private land it is the landowner’s responsibility to clear it.

Photo by Michael Coombe

However SDC’s Environmental Health Department will be responsible for attempting to identify those responsible.

Mr Coombe added: “It’s a disgrace.

“This must be the worst case of fly-tipping I have seen in Lydd for a long time.”

RSPB Dungeness is the charity’s oldest nature reserve, occupying almost 1,000 hectares of the peninsula.

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