Northern Ireland

Hillsborough farmer's anger over fly-tipping on his land

David Dunlop
Image caption David Dunlop examines the rubbish dumped in his field

A County Down farmer has criticised the people responsible for fly-tipping on his land near a busy dual carriageway.

David Dunlop posted an angry video online when he discovered the mess in one of his fields near Hillsborough.

Among the rubbish was rotten food, beer cans, over-the-counter painkillers, make-up and sanitary products.

He believes someone stopped on the roadside and threw the contents of kitchen and bathroom bins over a ditch.

He discovered it when he arrived to do some work.

Mr Dunlop said the experience would not encourage him or other farmers to open up their land for public access.

Image caption Over-the-counter painkillers were among the dumped items

"I don't mind the public getting a little bit more access to the countryside but it has to be respected as well," he said.

Last month the Ulster Farmers' Union said there had been a huge increase in fly-tipping in rural areas.

It welcomed the reopening of council recycling centres in the hope that would help.

When rubbish is dumped like this it becomes the responsibility of the landowner to remove it.

Mr Dunlop said as well as the frustration of having to clean up after someone else, various items posed a potential risk to livestock.

Image caption Beer cans were also dumped

He said cattle would ingest plastic and if metal was thrown into a silage field and picked up by a harvester, it could result in shards of metal being fed to animals with potentially fatal consequences.

Officials from Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council have visited the site and taken away a number of items for further investigation.

But Mr Dunlop said there was nothing with any obvious personal details on it and he was not hopeful the culprits would be caught.

Even if they are, the deterrent is not huge - the most they could expect in the circumstances is an £80 fine.