Two sub-contracted delivery drivers for DFS have been fined over £2,000 after being found guilty of dumping a sofa in Epping Forest.
The City of London Corporation, which protects the site as a charitable trust, prosecuted the men at Chelmsford Magistrates Court under the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
Andrei Jureschi, 26, of Monks Park, Wembley, and Tony Nunes, 36, of Cheyne Avenue, South Woodford, both pleaded guilty to fly tipping at Wake Road, Epping Forest, which they carried out in October 2021.
The two defendants delivered a new sofa and took £80 to dispose of an old sofa from a customer in Leytonstone.
They later illegally dumped the unwanted, large red corner sofa in Epping Forest, which is a protected Site of Special Scientific Interest and a Special Area of Conservation.
City Corporation officers tracked down the fly tippers using local intelligence sources. The fly tippers received a criminal record and fines totalling £2,160.
Last month, another man was found guilty of two offences of fly tipping in Epping Forest.
He dumped large amounts of rubbish, including cardboard, plastic and wood, at Alexandra Lake car park in June last year.
Azancout Menezes De Ceita, 38, of King Street, Canning Town, East London, was prosecuted at Barkingside Magistrates’ Court.
He received a sentence of six months imprisonment, suspended for two years, and was given 220 hours unpaid work and fined £1,941. He will now have a criminal record.
The City Corporation has prosecuted 17 people for fly-tipping over the last year. Illegal fly tipping at the site has increased during the pandemic and continues to rise.
Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Epping Forest and Commons Committee, Graeme Doshi-Smith, said, “Clearing dumped rubbish forces us to divert nearly half a million pounds a year away from wildlife and conservation projects to simply disposing of waste.
“Epping Forest as a registered charity relies on the public for income and donations to protect the site.
“As the ‘green lungs of London’, Epping Forest is of huge national importance and we will prosecute anyone found dumping rubbish here.”
The City Corporation is encouraging people to report Epping Forest fly-tippers to 020 8532 1010.
The Epping Forest charity receives more than £4.5m a year from the City of London Corporation to help deliver an outstanding environment attracting 4.7 million visits annually.
The City Corporation protects over 11,000 acres of open space in London and south east England – including Hampstead Heath and Burnham Beeches – and over 200 smaller ones in the Square Mile, investing over £38m a year.
They remove an estimated 16,000 tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere every year, equivalent to 44% of the City Corporation’s annual carbon footprint.
These sites, most of which are charitable trusts, are run at little or no cost to the communities that they serve. They include important wildlife habitats, Special Areas of Conservation, Sites of Special Scientific Interest, and National Nature Reserves. They are protected from being built on by special legislation.