Fly tipping fury in local countryside

Farmer John Goffin, Mauldslie Farm, Gorebridge
Farmer John Goffin, Mauldslie Farm, Gorebridge

Fly-tipping continues to cause problems in the countryside, with a farmer revealing that one of his lambs nearly lost its leg due to litter.

John Goffin has been at Mouldsie Farm for two and a half years, where he keeps sheep and deer. He said that fly-tipping on the back road between Gorebridge and Penicuik has always been a problem locally, which has now injured his livestock.

He said: “Basically we just picked up this lamb in the field which had stepped on an air filter, which had obviously been thrown into the field as a form of fly-tipping.

“It’s got a very sharp edge at the tip and it got stuck on the foot and sliced the heel and the heel had to be cut off.

“It was touch and go. If it had gone any further around we would have lost the foot.

“It’s a general problem we have got in rural Midlothian. It’s constant. Probably at least one incident a week.

“It falls into three departments. One - general littering. The second one is habitual criminal activity. Things like dumping tyres. Then there is the sort of DIY activity. From stripping out a bedroom say at the weekend. Because you can’t get into the recycling centre with commercial vehicles, they are just dumped at the side of the road. Or worse, thrown it into the field.

“Has the council even got a plan to approach this?”

Mark Stevens from Mount Lothian contacted the Advertiser about fly-tipping in his area. He said: “It’s just continuous. Every week there is something.

“The challenge is if you approach someone, what are the repercussions of doing that?

“I’m just frustrated. It’s always been a problem here.

“For all the money it costs for the council to pick it up, it would cost them less to let the vehicles into the skip.”

A council spokesman said: “It’s horrendous to hear that fly tipping is causing injuries to Mr Goffin’s lambs.

“Anyone who removes waste has a legal responsibility to dispose of the waste at a licensed waste facility.

“Our environmental wardens investigate complaints of fly-tipping on public property and also patrol reported hot spots. Where there is enough evidence to identify the person who carried out the illegal dumping, the wardens can serve a fixed penalty notice of £200.

“In more serious cases or where the penalty is not paid, we can refer the matter to the Procurator Fiscal with a view to prosecution.

“Anyone convicted can face a prison sentence of up to six months and/or a fine of up to £40,000.

“In some very serious cases, the prison sentence can be up to five years.”