A LAKE District estate owner says laws on littering proposed by Government that could see louts and fly-tippers hit with bigger fines do not go far enough.

Plans have been unveiled to double fines for people caught dropping rubbish to £150 as Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom revealed the ‘litter strategy for England.’

It aims to reduce the near £800m burden to the taxpayer of clean-up costs.

Vehicle owners could receive penalty notices when it can be proved litter was thrown from their car – even if it was discarded by somebody else.

Camilla Sandys, who lives at the Graythwaite Estate, near Newby Bridge, has become increasingly frustrated at visitors leaving rubbish strewn across roads, pathways and hedges.

“There’s 42 miles of road around the estate and I’m always having to pick up litter,” she said. “It is so annoying. We are looking after this land and we invite people onto it with pleasure but there is just no respect.

“It’s rude, it’s horrible and it’s not nice for other people. It’s terribly disrespectful for people to come and fly-tip on our roads.

“It is a constant problem and it’s getting worse. We’re in the middle of a national park and people come here because it’s beautiful but these people are trashing our land.

“They’ve brought it here with them, why can’t they take it away again?”

But Mrs Sandys does not believe the new legislation goes far enough to deter litterbugs, believing the problem should be tackled with education.

“It’s absolutely ridiculous, £150 is of no interest to anybody,” she said. “People should be given points on their licence and others should be encouraged to tell tales. These people need to be shamed.

“I’m going to ask headteachers of local schools if I can speak to children about it and see what they think.

“It’s a no brainer. They won’t drop litter in 10 years’ time if they’re spoken to now.”

Announcing the Government’s plans, Ms Leadsom said: “Litter is something that affects us all – blighting our countryside, harming our wildlife, polluting our seas, spoiling our towns and giving visitors a poor impression of our country.

“Our litter strategy will tackle this antisocial behaviour by building an anti-litter culture; making it easier for people to dispose of rubbish; and hitting litter louts in the pocket.

“We want to be the first generation to leave our environment in a better state than we found it, and tackling litter is an important part of our drive to make the country a better place to live and visit.”

The Westmorland Gazette recently launched its Stop the Fly-Tippers campaign to tackle the illegal dumping of waste in South Lakeland.

Stop the Fly-Tippers aims to raise awareness of the issue; highlight the environmental damage it causes; urge readers to inform The Westmorland Gazette of incidents which will be passed on to South Lakeland District Council; and raise awareness of the correct protocol for disposing of waste.