Lancaster school pupils call time on flytippers

Lauren Gora, Lancaster City Council Waste and Recycling Officer, helps pupils clear rubbish from  school land.
Lauren Gora, Lancaster City Council Waste and Recycling Officer, helps pupils clear rubbish from school land.
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Children from a Lancaster school have launched a campaign calling on flytippers to stop dumping rubbish in the grounds.

For a number of years, land belonging to Ryelands Primary School has been used as a dumping ground for mattresses, tyres, sofas and all manner of waste.

Although outside the fences, the L-shaped piece of land at the back of Ryelands Road still belongs to the school, and it is the school’s responsibility to clean it up.

But Linda Pye, headteacher at Ryelands said she would like to see the land used by the community, and is hoping a campaign will encourage people to look after the space.

She said: “We’ve got this really strange set up, where we’ve got fences that were put up many years ago to save money.

“The land outside the fence belongs to us, but people who flytip there don’t think it’s the school grounds.

“We have to pay for skips and have to use our people to remove it.”

Mrs Pye said the land is well used and well trodden by local people, and she would like to keep it that way.

She said: “We don’t want to have to fence it off, and we want to keep it open for the community.

“We’re having a campaign which lets people know that it’s our land, but we don’t want to keep having to use school resources to sort it out.”

Children at the school are designing posters to let people know not to flytip on the land, and it is hoped grants can be applied for to set up a community project.

Mrs Pye said that mattresses, TVs, electrical equipment, bin bags full of rubbish, tyres, sofas, trampoline poles, and “a whole bag of things that had been set on fire” had been dumped on the land.

She added: “There are lots of trees, it’s a bit wild, and we’re hoping to apply for some grants that enable us to do something for the community.

“Hopefully we can turn it around.

“The school has usually paid for a skip, and I don’t think we should be doing that anymore, we’d rather spend it on books.”

Last week, Lauren Gora, Lancaster City Council Waste and Recycling Officer, helped some of the children get to grips with some of the flytipping and littering.