A Borders village lay-by which has been a haunt of fly-tippers for years 'needs to be blocked off'

Fed-up members of a Borders fishing village community have expressed fury at fly-tipping on their doorstep which has been described as ‘amongst the worst ever seen’.

By Paul Kelly
Thursday, 1st April 2021, 2:38 pm
The litter-strewn layby.
The litter-strewn layby.

A lay-by on the outskirts of Burnmouth, the first village in Scotland, has been transformed into a massive rubbish tip in recent years, and matters only appear to be getting worse.

The lay-by, on the A1 about half a mile from the village, is strewn with all manner of items, from bed linen to household furniture.

The fly-tipping stretches for two hundred yards and has raised environmental and health fears, particularly as the area has become a haven for rats.

The rubbish-strewn layby.

While villagers await hoped-for clean-up action from Scottish Borders Council there has been a renewed call for the lay-by to be blocked off with barriers.

That is seen as the only long-term solution to prevent the ongoing problem.

In a bid to highlight the issue one local resident took photographs and video footage which he subsequently uploaded onto social media.

The villager, who did not want to be named, said: “It’s been going on for four or five years and I have never seen it cleaned up in the last couple of years.

"I’ve seen tradesmen down there with pick-up up trucks. I think it has become the place for people to dump rubbish safe in the knowledge that nothing will be done to stop them.

"There’s a helluva lot of rats in there now. In the darkness if you shine a light into the hedgerow you can see a hundred eyes looking back at you.

"I posted the footage just to let people know it’s there because you can’t see it from the road, it’s a bit lower down and it’s horrendous.”

Dr Ian Craighead, chairperson of Burnmouth Community Council, said: “We’ve been in touch with the SBC councillors for the area over the years and raised this problem because its been there for years and occasionally we’ve had clean-ups and an extra waste bin put in the lay-by, but it is just getting worse and worse.

"It was a week and a half, two weeks ago that it was getting so bad that I got onto the councillors and Councillor Carol Hamilton said she would convey our concerns onto SBC.

"She said to get back if nothing was done and it appears that, judging by the video footage, nothing has been done and it’s no better.

"The problem is the area is screened by trees from the A1 so it’s very easy to pull up there and throw things out and unless someone is in the lay-by they are not going to be seen.

"We have argued for a while with SBC that the layby should be closed off. I think that’ is the only way you are going to stop the gross fly-tipping that is occurring there.”