SILSDEN people rediscovering their local countryside during lockdown exercise trips are also finding dumped rubbish.

Residents are encountering waste as they venture to outlying parts of the town to avoid busier exercise spots such as the canal towpath, says local politician Rebecca Whitaker.

The district and town councillor found a fly-tipper's pile, including a mattress, last week in Hole Lane during her own daily walk.

The discovery came after reports last month of some rural areas of Silsden, such as Brunthwaite, becoming a regular dumping spot for fly tippers.

Cllr Whitaker said: "It is a great shame to see the blight of fly tipping on our beautiful country lanes in and around Silsden.

"Some local residents have told me that in an effort to observe social distancing they are now avoiding walking on the canal tow path and also avoiding using footpaths which involve touching gates and stiles to help reduce the spread of the virus.

"Many are rediscovering our country roads around our town and are enjoying using them instead for their daily walk.

"What a pity that whilst out enjoying the magnificent views they are also having to walk around discarded household items that have been dumped in our local countryside."

Cllr Whitaker reported the Hole Lane rubbish to Bradford Council, and she praised them for removing it swiftly despite having to work with reduced staff numbers.

She said: "This is a growing and costly national problem for all local authorities. The burden of cost is falling in the council when they have more important things to spend their money on.

"I appreciate it is difficult for people when the council tips are temporarily closed, but most decent people are hanging on to their items until such times that they can dispose of things in an appropriate and responsible way.

"It is always the small minority who think it is acceptable to dump their rubbish wherever they like with no consideration for anyone else. The extra financial cost ultimately falls on local council taxpayers. Fly tipping is illegal and I welcome any action that helps catch those responsible."