Club Cricket Conference

Friday, 10th July 2020

Beaconsfield incidents underline fly-tipping menace

By Charles Randall

12 February 2019

Burglaries and vandalism is a routine hazard for so many cricket clubs, during the close season especially, but fly-tipping can be another disgusting hazard.

Almost a million incidents of fly-tipping were reported by councils in England last winter, and quite a number happened in or near cricket grounds, perhaps due to accessible open space or rural location. This figure was a slight decrease from the previous winter, but still serious enough. About two-thirds of the rubbish was household originated, according to Government figures.

Metal thefts became a scourge in 2011, hitting cricket clubs especially hard, because  thieves targeted rollers, copper piping and all sorts of metal items that might be found in a pavilion or groundsman's shed. For example,  Nantwich CC in Cheshire had their cellar cooling system ripped out early one November evening, and they suffered again 10 days later when their 100-year-old heavy roller was taken.

Now clubs have to beware fly-tipping. A devastating example hit Beaconsfield CC in  January when a couple of tons of rubbish was dumped on their beautiful ground, the second tipping incident there in 12 months. The criminals broke through an access gate, leaving the Buckinghamshire club  to clear two massive heaps that included building waste,  office chairs and tins of rapeseed oil. The cost of removal amounted to several thousand pounds.

In July 2018 fly-tippers deposited old furniture, tyres, cardboard and electrical goods on the Tillwicks Road field at  at Tye Green CC in Harlow, only a year after the club had been founded. In May the town council  had acted quickly to help Harlow Town CC by removing a pile of rubbish containing asbestos, dumped at the ground's Ash Tree Field entrance.

Those affected are left with hefty costs of removal not to mention an unsightly pile of rubbish with potential health hazards.

Fly-tippers are rarely caught, though CCTV would be a handy deterrent. In 2016 two men admitted tipping at Potterne CC, near Devizes, and were each issued with a fixed penalty notice of £400 by Wiltshire Council environmental officers. The tippers claimed their vehicle had suffered a puncture and that they had to take off the load to change the wheel.

Effective from 9 May 2016, the Unauthorised Deposit of Waste (Fixed Penalty Notices) Regulations 2016 amended the Environmental Protection Act 1990. This allowed local authorities in England to issue a fixed penalty notice for fly-tipping even for low scale incidents, but industrial-size tipping remains a serious problem.

An especially  disgusting incident happened last autumn when an industrial size pile of raw halal chicken was tipped on a footpath at Green Lane adjacent to the historic Navestock cricket ground near Brentwood.

In 2015 the car park at Effingham CC was repeatedly targeted by small-scale fly-tipping of industrial and building waste. The club unsuccessfully asked Guildford Borough Council to clear up the mess after four incidents during the close-season. The council replied that private land was not their responsibility.