Flytipping soared across Sussex last year.

New figures from the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs show how many reports of flytipping there were on public land in each local authority area between 2022 and 2023.

The data also shows the number of incidents between 2021 and 2022.

Overall in Sussex, incidents rose by more than 1,000 with 12,689 incidents recorded in 2021/22 and 13,828 recorded in 2022/23.

Arun District Council recorded the most in 2022/23 with 2,035.

Brighton and Bove City Council closely followed with 2,032.

But Hastings had the biggest rise with 574 flytips recorded in 2021/22 and 1,555 in the last year - an increase of 170 per cent.

Nick Jones, agent at Glynde Estates, said it was a huge problem for the estate.

“Flytipping continues to be an ongoing issue for us,” he said.

“Only this week our grounds staff had to clear up a heap of miscellaneous material tipped into a field down in South Heighton, and before Christmas there was a burnt-out car in a field in Tarring Neville which we then had to sort out.”

Tim Bamford, regional director of CLA South East which represents farmers, landowners and rural businesses, said flytipping is not a victimless crime and is costing their members heavily.

“These flytipping figures barely scratch the surface of a crime that’s blighting rural communities, with incidents on private land going unrecorded on a mass scale,” he said.

“It’s not just litter blotting the landscape but tonnes of household and commercial waste which can often be hazardous – even including asbestos and chemicals – endangering farmers, wildlife, livestock, crops and the environment.”

Nationally, for the 2022/23 year, local authorities in England dealt with 1.08 million flytipping incidents, a decrease of one per cent from the 1.09 million reported in 2021/22.

Reacting to the figures, Darren Rodwell, environment spokesman for the Local Government Association, said: “Flytipping is inexcusable. It is not only an eyesore for residents, but a serious public health risk, creating pollution and attracting rats and other vermin.

“This decrease in flytipping is positive and a testament to the hard work of councils. We continue to urge the government to review sentencing guidelines for flytipping so that offenders are given bigger fines for more serious offences to act as a deterrent.

“Manufacturers should also contribute to the costs to councils of clear up, by providing more take-back services so people can hand in old furniture and mattresses when they buy new ones.”

Defra revealed local authorities carried out 536,000 enforcement actions in 2022/23, an increase of 29,000 actions (six per cent) from 507,000 in 2021/22.

The number of fixed penalty notices issued was 73,000 in 2022/23, a decrease of 19 per cent from 91,000 in 2021/22. This is the second most common action after investigations and accounted for 14 per cent of all actions in 2022/23.

The average court fine has increased from £466 in 2021/22 to £526 in 2022/23. The total number of court fines decreased by 17 per cent from 1,798 in 2021/22 to 1,491 in 2022/23, with the combined value of these fines decreasing by six per cent from £837,000 to £785,000.