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WATCH: Bottles of urine, broken fridges and bags of dead turkeys found on A47

PUBLISHED: 16:09 20 November 2019 | UPDATED: 09:05 21 November 2019

Norfolk litter-picker Nigel Ford with a small selection of rubbish we encountered along the A47. Picture: Neil Didsbury

Norfolk litter-picker Nigel Ford with a small selection of rubbish we encountered along the A47. Picture: Neil Didsbury

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A man who has reported more than 500 fly-tipping incidents has revealed the hidden pollution lurking on our roads.

Plastic bottles, cans, crisp packets and so much more. The lay-by's we visited along the A47 near Norwich were strewn with rubbish. Picture: Neil DidsburyPlastic bottles, cans, crisp packets and so much more. The lay-by's we visited along the A47 near Norwich were strewn with rubbish. Picture: Neil Didsbury

Nigel Ford, who was born and still lives near Wymondham, has been fighting the county's litter problem for five years, heading out four times a week to collect rubbish.

Since the start of his mission in 2014, Mr Ford has discovered fridges, tyres, hundreds of litres of engine oil and a bag of dead turkeys.

Joining him on the A47 for his 1,000th "magical lay-by mystery tour" clean-up, gives an insight into what he sees on a regular basis.

Armed with a rubbish bag and litter grabber, the retired window cleaner scrambled up vertical verges with a nimbleness which belied his 71 years, uncovering a host of dumped items ranging from the weird to downright disgusting.

Nigel Ford, 71 from Hardingham near Wymondham collecting rubbish at a lay-by along the A47 - something he has been doing for over five years. Picture: Neil DidsburyNigel Ford, 71 from Hardingham near Wymondham collecting rubbish at a lay-by along the A47 - something he has been doing for over five years. Picture: Neil Didsbury

At our first lay-by near the Thickthorn roundabout, Mr Ford spotted the usual mass of plastic bottles and cans, as well as several bottles full of urine.

He explained this was commonplace.

"It's sheer and utter badness to leave pee on the side of a road. I don't put them in the bag incase they split in there, but I'll report them as part of a fly-tipping incident."

For Mr Ford, keeping these areas clean is important for both minimising damage to the environment and preventing further incidents.

"Why people can't dispose of things properly is beyond me". From fridges to kettles, cans to crash helmets, Norfolk litter-picker Nigel Ford has seen it all on his clean ups along the A47. Picture: Neil Didsbury

He said: "It's pure psychology. If people see it in a mess they're more likely to leave more rubbish."

A mile east, we discovered a tourist information sign lying in the dirt, advertising the "best of Breckland".

According to the 71-year-old, it has been like this for more than a year.

He said: "What are tourists going to think of Norfolk if they see this? They're going to think if the authorities don't care, why should we?"

"Why will the public respect these spaces when the authorities don't?" Litter-picker Nigel Ford bemoaned the dumping of the road maintenance waste found down ditches off the A47. Picture: Neil Didsbury

Although Mr Ford said the problem had increased in recent years, he added that the younger generation provides some hope.

He said: "Younger children need to educate the adults, not the other way round. It's them that will end up sorting the world out, although I'll keep doing this until I die."

Breckland Council, Norfolk County Council and Highways England were contacted for comment.

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