National Fly-Tipping Day
Next Tuesday is National Fly-Tipping Day, when people across the country will be encouraged to dump their old furniture, building rubble and broken kitchen appliances in lay-bys, wildlife sanctuaries and beauty spots across the UK. This is the third year that the event has been held, and it has already become something of an institution.
"It's an occasion that the whole family can get involved in," said organiser Christian Pyle. "People talk about how families have become fragmented; how they've lost touch with one another. But events like this really bring them together - brothers and sisters, mothers and sons. They bond over the burnt-out bedsteads and the water-damaged carpets and the half-filled bags of unidentified but most probably highly hazardous waste. It's really quite beautiful."
Beautiful it might be, but the practice of fly-tipping is presently under threat due to increasing environmental concerns and the rise in popularity of recycling. Mr Pyle inaugurated National Fly-Tipping day as a direct response to this, hoping to preserve a custom which stretches back centuries, but which is in danger of dying out completely. "What we are talking about is our heritage," Mr Pyle told us. "But we're also thinking about the future. These are customs that we want to pass on to our children; a way of life that we want to preserve for posterity. It will be a sad world indeed if the youngsters of tomorrow never get to experience the magic of finding a rusty washing machine in a hedge, a pile of broken paving slabs at the end of a farm track or half a cow under a motorway flyover."