Image demonstrating Dumping garden waste will damage coastal ecosystem

Dumping garden waste will damage coastal ecosystem

Northumberland County Council is issuing a reminder to residents that the dumping of garden waste is illegal and classed as fly-tipping,  following a spate of incidents, along the Northumberland coast which is damaging the local ecosystem.

Over the past month there has been an increase in the number of reports of people  disposing of garden waste along the coastline, particularly on beaches, dunes, links and harbour areas.

There is a belief among local residents and gardening contractors that as it is  garden waste, it is helping the land and therefore this does not count as fly-tipping. 

Iain Robson, Access and Natural Environment Officer with the Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Partnership explains:
“ We are becoming increasingly concerned at the amount of garden waste that is being discarded along the dunes.
“ Most of the coastal grasslands and dune systems on the Northumberland coast are protected for their important flora  The dumping of soil, grass cuttings and other garden waste causes two problems; firstly it enriches the soil which encourages the growth of weeds species such as docks and nettles, which outcompete the wildflowers. The second issue is accidental introduction of garden plants into the grasslands which can also outcompete native wildflowers causing the loss of important dune grassland plants.

Northumberland County Councillor, Glen Sanderson, cabinet member with responsibility for the environment and local services said:
“ There are so many ways to get rid of waste responsibly and the vast majority of our residents do so.
“There are free facilities available to householders at all of Northumberland’s household recycling centres and we operate a household garden waste collection service for a small fee.
“No matter what the waste, or the reasons behind it, fly tipping will never be tolerated and will be dealt with accordingly by the council.”
Those caught fly tipping may be issued with a £400 fixed penalty notice or may be prosecuted for the offence which could lead to a fine or a term of imprisonment.

If anyone has any information or concerns about  the illegal disposal of garden waste please report this in confidence by calling 0345 600 6400 or by reporting it online at

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