A council has vowed to clamp down on fly-tipping after a rise in incidents last year.

According to figures released by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, incidents of fly-tipping across east Suffolk rose to 2,252 in 2020/21.

That was an increase of 41.3pc, up from 1,594 cases in 2019/20.

James Mallinder, East Suffolk Council's cabinet member for the environment, said: “East Suffolk saw an increase in reported fly-tipping incidents in 2020/21, in line with the national picture.

“The increase is thought to be a result of the Covid lockdowns, both in terms of reduced opportunities for lawful disposal, including access to household waste recycling centres and charity shops, along with potentially increased reporting as more people walked in their local areas.

“Although Covid placed restrictions on the way some incidents have been investigated, due to a lack of face-to-face interviewing opportunities, overall enforcement actions increased across Suffolk compared to the previous year, in contrast to the national picture.

“Fly-tipping is a blight on the landscape and a drain on resources – and East Suffolk Council will continue to investigate all incidents of fly-tipping, where evidence is found, and would encourage anyone who witnesses fly-tipping or finds fly-tipped rubbish to report it to us.

“We also continue to work with our partners in the Suffolk Fly Tipping Group (STAG) to combat fly-tipping.”

A total of 79,726 incidents were recorded across the east of England in 2020/21, almost 20,000 more than the 12 months previous.

Only Norwich had more incidents of fly-tipping across districts in Norfolk and Suffolk than east Suffolk, with 4,755 cases.

In June, 87-year-old Alan Mackley was out on his mobility scooter when he discovered fly-tipped waste, including cannabis waste, was blocking a public footpath near to the Walberswick Nature Reserve.

A month before, broken plastic items were among a huge pile of waste dumped near Blackheath Woods in Pakefield and, in April, mattresses and furniture were dumped in a countryside lane in Mettingham.

To report fly-tipping, go to: www.eastsuffolk.gov.uk/waste/fly-tipping.