“If I knew where you live I’d put it on your doorstep” – Retired farmers fight back against fly-tipping

An elderly couple are being plagued with horrific fly tipping on their farm, which has included the dumping of asbestos, personal items and general rubbish.

Retired farmers, husband and wife John and Patricia Mendel, live alone on Shab Hill farm near Birdlip, where they have been for the past 50 years. The Mendels were livestock farmers prior to retiring twenty years ago.

They say people have been illegally dumping litter on their land for years, but recently the amount has increased.

“It’s makes me very upset. We sometimes have to move the rubbish ourselves and we can barely reach down to pick up the litter,” said Patricia.

A large amount of asbestos was first found dumped in one of the farm’s fields in May 2016, causing the couple heartache. The asbestos forced the couple to stay with family whilst it was being removed.

She added: “We had to wait for specialist people to come and take it away, they had to come in white hazard suits, it was quite scary.”

The couple both suffer from serious medical conditions which need round the clock care. Patricia is a cancer sufferer and John has had several strokes over the last few years and suffers from mobility issues.

Patricia added: “When they throw rubbish into our fields, it becomes our responsibility to clear it away and we physically can’t do that.

“There’s masses of furniture, children’s toys good enough to be sold, a whole lot of books, bikes and general rubbish scattered across my land.”

She gave some advice to potential flytippers – “Just don’t do it. Surely you can take it to other places rather than dump it one someone else’s doorstep. Because if I knew where you lived I’d bring it round and dump it on your doorstep, but I don’t get the chance to do that.”

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