COUNCIL officers received several reports about a sofa that was dumped on the walk to The Helm, Oxenholme. 

A reader told this publication: "Going for my daily walk on the Helm on Saturday, I couldn’t believe that someone would stoop so low as to use such an idyllic walking area for fly-tipping."

The sofa has been cleared, but Westmorland and Furness Council said that it was not a 'victimless crime' as objects dumped in nature harm the environment and it is the taxpayer that has to fund the removal and disposal of fly-tipped furniture. 

The Westmorland Gazette: The council said that it is the taxpayer that ultimately has to foot the billThe council said that it is the taxpayer that ultimately has to foot the bill (Image: Newsquest)

A spokesperson from the council said: "Fly-tipping is a serious criminal offence and is not a victimless crime. It damages wildlife and nature, creates eyesores and ruins people’s enjoyment of our beautiful area.

“As well as the cost to the environment, the financial cost of clearance, disposal and investigation is ultimately borne by the council taxpayers of Westmorland and Furness.

“We investigate every case of fly-tipping reported and, if appropriate, action will be taken. This can range from fixed penalty notices for £250 and warning letters being issued to prosecutions, potentially significant fines and even custodial sentences.

“Householders may not realise they have a legal duty of care to ensure that waste is only removed from their property by registered carriers. If you knowingly use an unlicensed waste carrier you could be prosecuted and fined up to £5,000, while the carrier could face a fine of up to £50,000 and up to five years in prison.

“Residents can dispose of unwanted large items by taking them to our Household Waste Recycling Centres or by contacting us to arrange collection – to find out more, visit our website.”