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Cameras to be brought in to catch fly tippers at beauty spot

PUBLISHED: 13:16 27 May 2020 | UPDATED: 13:16 27 May 2020

A family of swans on the river at Knettishall Heath. Members of the public has to remove waste dumped into the river. Photo: Eve Stoneburgh

A family of swans on the river at Knettishall Heath. Members of the public has to remove waste dumped into the river. Photo: Eve Stoneburgh

Eve Stoneburgh

A natural beauty spot is installing trail cameras to deter fly tippers who have been dumping waste in the river.

Jackie Walters raised more than £600  for trail cameras to be installed at Knettishall Heath, as part of a campaign to deter fly tippers. Photo: Jackie WaltersJackie Walters raised more than £600 for trail cameras to be installed at Knettishall Heath, as part of a campaign to deter fly tippers. Photo: Jackie Walters

Knettishall Heath, near Thetford, is a popular destination for dog walkers and families who like to take a dip in its waters during the summer season.

But volunteers and staff at the site of special scientific interest (SSSI), have seen a rise in waste being dumped in the river and surrounding areas.

Jackie Walters, 54, from East Harling, has been visiting the heath with her children throughout their lives and said the recent rise in fly tipping left her feeling “heartbroken” and “furious”.

Now the mother-of-two has raised money for trail cameras which will be installed around the site, which she hopes will put an end to waste being dumped.

Jackie Walters regularly visits Knettishall Heath with her family. She has raised more than £600  for trail cameras to be installed, as part of a campaign to deter fly tippers. Photo: Jackie WaltersJackie Walters regularly visits Knettishall Heath with her family. She has raised more than £600 for trail cameras to be installed, as part of a campaign to deter fly tippers. Photo: Jackie Walters

Ms Walters said: “My children are 14 and 11 and we spent all of their young lives down there every summer. It is a beautiful area.

“I saw photos posted of the weir with a toilet dumped in there, shower screen glass and tubes. There was also asbestos and mattresses dumped by the ponies.

“I know fly tipping is increasing but I don’t understand why someone would dump waste in the water, where there are dogs and children swimming.

“I was furious, and I felt I needed to do something about it.”

Jackie Walters regularly visits Knettishall Heath with her family. She has raised more than £600  for trail cameras to be installed, as part of a campaign to deter fly tippers. Photo: Jackie WaltersJackie Walters regularly visits Knettishall Heath with her family. She has raised more than £600 for trail cameras to be installed, as part of a campaign to deter fly tippers. Photo: Jackie Walters

MORE: Carpet and paint tins dumped in river at natural beauty spot

Determined to catch those who have been spoiling the beauty spot and to deter future fly tippers, Ms Walters set up a gofundme page which raised more than £600.

A spokesman from Suffolk Wildlife Trust, which manages the site, said: “We would like to say a huge thank you to Jackie and everyone who has donated towards this cause and helped with the clean-up.

“We are incredibly grateful for this fantastic response from local people who clearly care about their local natural environment.

“We will be looking to buy and install some trail cameras as soon as possible to help us remain vigilant and deter future fly tipping, as well as using the funds to aid with the clear up operation.

Waste dumped in the river at Knettishall Heath near Thetford. Photo: Eve StoneburghWaste dumped in the river at Knettishall Heath near Thetford. Photo: Eve Stoneburgh

“The trail cameras can also be used in the future to help us monitor wildlife on the reserves, so thank you everyone for helping us to look after this special place.”

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