Farmers and landowners are being warned to expect an upsurge in fly-tipping over the Easter weekend.
Councils have closed household waste recycling centres across the country due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Refuse collections have also been scaled back over reduced staff numbers.
With the Easter holidays under way, the countryside could be facing a perfect storm for dumping as homeowners start spring cleaning and organised criminal gangs dispose of waste illegally.
See also: What to do if you’re a victim of… fly-tipping
A number of farmers have already reported a spike in fly-tipping on their land since the government placed the country into lockdown over the virus on 23 March.
On Saturday 4 April, Hertfordshire farmer and Farmers Weekly columnist Ian Piggot posted a photo on his Twitter page of several metres of signage and other industrial waste dumped in his ditches.
“I really struggle with this,” said Mr Piggot.
“The selfish, lazy, shameful, disrespectful lowlifes that blight our towns, farms and countryside with #flytipping. A proverbial zit within our society that needs popping.”
‘Blight on the landscape’
Olly Harrison, chairman of the NFU North West combinable crops board, is also battling fly-tipping on his 485ha farm on Merseyside.
In recent days, Mr Harrison has posted a number of videos on Twitter from his farm in Prescot, which has been blighted with deposits of household waste, including old guttering, laminate flooring, cupboards, TVs, garden waste and rubble.
Jane Harrison, Country, Land and Business Association rural adviser in the North, said: “Fly-tipping is a blight on the landscape and can cost up to £800 per incident to clear away and all at the farmer’s expense.
“Please ensure you take your litter home with you and dispose of bulky waste through proper legal channels.”