Fly-tippers dump divan bed in scenic Northumberland beauty spot

Irresponsible fly-tippers have illegally dumped a bed along part of the National Cycle Network in Northumberland

Reader Adam Powell's picture of a fly-tipped divan bed in a car park on the National Cycle Network near Lambley Viaduct in Northumberland
Reader Adam Powell's picture of a fly-tipped divan bed in a car park on the National Cycle Network near Lambley Viaduct in Northumberland

The beauty spots of Northumberland might make some want to sleep under the stars - and others seek a lovers’ lane.

But few would do it on this divan bed illegally dumped on a scenic bike path on the South Tyne.

Reader Adam Powell was cycling from Haltwhistle towards the old Lambley Viaduct when he found it abandoned in a tourist car park.

He said: “It was Sunday and the recycling centre was open in Haltwhistle, so no excuse there.

“I can only hope that any union on the discarded divan was not a bountiful one. We wouldn’t want behaviour like this to be passed into the next generation.”

The scenic route follows a reclaimed railway which once ran from Haltwhistle to Alston - and crosses the South Tyne atop the 105-foot-high Lambley Viaduct.

It is part of the National Cycle Network created in the early noughties by charity Sustrans to encourage more people to cycle.

North East network manager Tom Bailey said: “It’s hard to understand why someone would want to dump furniture along scenic stretches of the NCN, or any other paths or cycle ways for that matter, especially when local authorities have the facilities to take unwanted household items.

“It’s crucial that routes like this remain attractive places if we’re going to see growing numbers of people making greener, healthier travel choices.”

He said fly-tipping was unusual along the sections managed directly by the Sustrans, which tend to be in more rural areas, but might be more of a problem for urban routes.

The charity runs volunteer days to clean up the paths by cutting back vegetation, trimming hedges, and picking up litter and broken glass.

A spokesman for Northumberland County Council said: “The council take the issue of fly-tipping seriously and will investigate and prosecute anyone where evidence is gathered – offenders can face a fine of £50,000 and or six months imprisonment on conviction. This particular incident has been reported to the local services team who will go out and remove the mattress.”

He urged anyone who spots fly-tipping while out and about to report it by phoning 0845 600 6400 or using the online report form at tinyurl.com/NEflytip/.

Fly-tipping cost local authorities across the UK £36.4m last year, but only £83,500 in Northumberland.

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