FLY-TIPPING hit an all-time high in Somerset West and Taunton last year, figures show, although no court fines have been imposed.
The Country Land and Business Association said the “shameful behavior” is damaging the countryside and warned that the true scale of fly spills across England is likely even higher than feared.
Data from the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs shows that 997 fly spill incidents were reported in Somerset West and Taunton Council in 2020-2021.
This was more than double the 434 discoveries made the previous year, and the highest number since comparable records began in 2012-13.
However, no fines resulting from court convictions were handed down in the region last year – and none were imposed in 2019-2020.
Somerset West and Taunton Council took no enforcement action in 2020-2021.
Across England, a record 1.1 million incidents of litter dumped on motorways and beauty spots were found in 2020-2021, up from 980,000 the year before.
But the number of court fines has halved, from 2,672 to just 1,313 – their total value dropping from £ 1.2million to £ 440,000.
The CLA, which represents rural businesses, said the vast majority of fly spills occur on private land, which the numbers do not cover.
Mark Tufnell, CLA President, said: “These numbers do not tell the whole story of this shameful behavior that plagues our beautiful countryside.
“Fly spills continue to ruin the lives of many of us who live and work in the countryside – and significant progress must be made to end it.
“It’s not just a garbage bag, but large household items, from unwanted sofas and broken washing machines, to building materials and even asbestos that are dumped in our countryside.
Somerset West and Taunton recorded 6.4 fly spill incidents per 1,000 people last year, well below the UK average of 20.1.
Household garbage accounted for 569 incidents last year, or 57% of the total.