Beds, Herts & Bucks

Fly-tipping closes Bishop's Stortford school sports field

The sports field Bishop's Stortford High School in Much Hadham Image copyright Gene Weatherley
Image caption The Bishop's Stortford High School sports field at Jobbers Wood has had to be closed

A school has had to close its sports playing field after a 20ft (6m) pile of waste was dumped outside during half-term.

The mound of processed residential rubbish was left at the entrance to the field at Bishop's Stortford High School, Hertfordshire, between 18 and 19 February.

Head teacher Dale Reeve called it an "irresponsible" act of "vandalism".

A second pile was found on farmland in Gore Lane, Barwick, on Monday.

East Herts Council said it had reported both incidents, which amounted to about 60 tonnes of waste, to the Environment Agency.

Image copyright Gene Weatherley
Image caption Both piles were made up of processed residential waste which had been sorted then compacted

A spokeswoman for the school, in Much Hadham, said pupils would not be able to use the facilities, which include 15 football pitches and changing rooms, until the waste had been cleared.

Mr Reeve said: "It is obviously a saddening and very frustrating situation. Not only does this incredibly irresponsible action have an environmental impact, it will also cost the school thousands of pounds to have it safely removed.

"To have to spend a large sum of money on this act of vandalism, instead of on valuable educational resources, is extremely disheartening."

Hertfordshire Police said it was exploring "all lines of inquiry".

Referring to the incident in Barwick, Sgt Duncan Wallace said: "This was an organised operation involving the dumping of processed waste. To gain access to the site a padlock was cut off a gate with an angle grinder."

Image copyright Gene Weatherley
Image caption Rubbish was also left on farmland in Gore Lane, Barwick between 05:00 and 05:30 on Monday

Graham McAndrew, executive member for waste at East Herts District Council, said a council officer would always attend incidents like these to "try and find evidence for prosecution".

Hertfordshire police and crime commissioner David Lloyd said: "The scale and audacity of this crime is shocking.

"There should be severe penalties for the offenders when they are brought to justice."

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