FARMING experts have warned the mass of fly-tipping incidents is ‘just the tip of the iceberg.’

The warning comes after the Braintree district was revealed to have the third highest rate of agricultural fly-tipping in the county.

Out of 768 incidents in the district, 13 saw rubbish have been dumped on farmland.

Farmers who fall prey to the crime are then faced with having to meet the cost of clearing the rubbish from their land themselves – at an average cost of £1,000 per incident. They are also liable if the dumped rubbish damages the countryside.

Insurer Viv Vivers advises farmers in the east of England.

She said the true scale of fly-tipping on East of England farmland is not reflected in the figures, as the statistics exclude the majority of incidents on private land. She said: “Flytipping is a blight on our countryside, but dumped waste is not only visually impactful and a nuisance – it can be a source of pollution and cause harm to humans, animals and the environment.

“Be vigilant, communicate with neighbours and report suspicious vehicles.”

A Braintree Council spokesman said: “Fly-tipping is an issue that residents including farmers are rightly concerned about.

"Cleaning up waste which people have irresponsibly and illegally tipped costs time and money and we encourage anyone who sees fly-tipping happening to report it.

"However, the official statistics tell a story of a tidy and responsible district.

"The full figures show that just 3.6% of reported fly tips in Essex in 2017/18 were in our district.”