Cruising along the canals in a narrowboat is a peaceful experience. Watching the countryside drifting past at gentle pace, the noise of the lapping of water against the boat and the cheery wave at fellow boaters and those on dry land as you cruise along.

However, an increase in fly-tipping along the canals is ruining this experience for many, as well as damaging Britain’s much-loved canals and waterways and their surrounding landscapes. It is becoming a frequent recurrence and this kind of destructive behaviour is starting to have adverse effects on our country’s canals.

Toxic waste

The waterways are inundated with harmful corrosive chemicals as a result of the rubbish that is being dumped in them. Most of what is fly-tipped leaches out and releases toxins into the water. This is harmful for animals that use the canals and causes the water to be damaging and unclean. Potential chemicals in the rubbish can also contaminate the banks of the waterways.

Harmful to the wildlife

An influx of rubbish in the water is dangerous for the animals that live there. It can trap wildlife and be accidentally ingested by birds, mammals and fish. Most of the rubbish that people dump will take years to biodegrade, causing fly-tipping to have a long-lasting effect on the natural environment and its inhabitants.

Ruining the landscape

Britain’s waterways have been heralded as areas of natural beauty and a place to escape the buzz of everyday life. Fly-tipping is returning the canal network to its industrial past, transforming it into an area of unsightly rubbish and waste. Boaters can no longer chug along the canals with an unspoiled view. This is turning back the clock on all the hard work done by organisations and trusts to keep our canals tidy.