Countryside campaigner reaches milestone in tyre fly-tipping crusade

Nigel Ford is involved in a one-man campaign against fly-tipped tyres. Picture: Ian Burt

Nigel Ford is involved in a one-man campaign against fly-tipped tyres. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: IAN BURT

A countryside campaigner has collected his 200th discarded old tyre as part of a continuing crusade to rid Norfolk of road-side fly-tipping.

Nigel Ford, from Hardingham near Dereham, estimates there are about 2,000 old tyres scattered around the county in beauty spots, footpaths, lay-bys, ditches and central reservations.

He said he stumbled across many of the degraded rubber eyesores during his other ongoing project to restore the region's historic milestones – and decided to do something about it.

After surpassing his original goal of collecting 100 tyres, he re-doubled his efforts and set himself a new task of making Norfolk the first English county to have a 'zero tolerance policy' on the fly-tipping of tyres.

Mr Ford, 65, has written to the Campaign to Protect Rural England, Norfolk County Council, all of Norfolk's MPs and even to Prince Charles – which encouraged a supportive reply from Clarence House wishing him 'continued success in his endeavours'.

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The letter says: 'His Royal Highness was delighted to hear about the wonderful work you are doing to clear the existing tyres littering the countryside.

'However, I regret to say that His Royal Highness's position makes it difficult for him to become personally involved.'

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After collecting his 200th tyre from a lay-by on B1105 between Fakenham and Wells, Mr Ford said: 'Initially I was going around the countryside tidying up milestones and I thought it was horrible to keep stumbling across fly-tipped tyres.

'Since the beginning of the year, I have collected 200, which I believe is a tenth of them.

'The 10pc I have collected may not sound like much, but if everybody did a percentage then I am sure there is enough will-power for Norfolk to rid itself of all fly-tipped used tyres. I really believe that Norfolk could be the first county in England to have a zero tolerance policy and I believe that by working with the public and the local authorities it is realistic and achievable.'

Mr Ford collects individual car tyres himself and takes them to recycling centres. When there is a large quantity, or heavy tyres from lorries and trucks, he leaves them on the side of the road and notifies district council teams to come and get them.

He urged other people to follow his example.

'If someone saw a tyre and it was safe to pick it up I would encourage them to do something about it,' he said. 'Unless you do something, nothing gets done.'

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