Country mouse on fly-tipping

Last summer, I met a German couple on the ancient byway that runs westwards from the village. This inspirational pair had walked all the way from Rome, following old pilgrimage routes, and our little byway, they explained, was part of the route to St Swithun’s remains in Winchester Cathedral.

The beauty of the surrounding countryside entranced them, and I felt proud of our little bit of Hampshire for putting on a worthwhile show for these travellers. I am glad they didn’t come last weekend. Now, they’d have to pass a fridge and, further along, a pair of neatly stacked sofas. I’m as sad as I am furious.

The effort these fly-tipping criminals must have gone to get down the muddy lane to dump these objects when there’s a perfectly good council tip four miles away is bewildering.

The selfishness of fly tippers deserves far higher penalties than are currently imposed, and although others will now clear up the mess they left (at no little cost to themselves), I can’t begin to understand why people do it. Anyone caught doing it should be locked in a rubbish tip for a week that way, they might learn what they’re doing to others.