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Hundreds of tyres dumped at Torfaen beauty spot

Jon Howells at Blaenserchan colliery
Jon Howells at Blaenserchan colliery Photo: (Torfaen Council)

These shocking photographs show hundreds of car tyres found dumped near the old Blaenserchan colliery.

They were discovered last week by Jon Howells, Torfaen Council Countryside Recreation Warden, who has since removed the vast majority of them.

It’s thought the tyres have been thrown from a road that runs above the secluded ravine for years but have gone unnoticed because the base of the valley is virtually inaccessible.

hundreds of dumped tyres
Hundreds of tyres dumped at Blaenserchan colliery Photo: (Torfaen Council)

Jon and two contractors had to carry the tyres over slag heaps and pile them into a small 4×4 vehicle, where they were taken to a nearby pit road to be collected by the council’s waste and recycling team.

Jon said: “There are plans for the area to become a local nature reserve so we are working to remove anything from the area that could be unsafe for the public.

“Last week, I was walking along the stream towards Pantygasseg and came across around 500 tyres that had been rolled into it. Some were modern but others were from the former Soviet Union and east Germany. We found one dated 1935.

“It took three days to remove them all by hand which was very dirty work. There were around three we couldn’t get because they were inaccessible or trees had grown through them.”

Councillor Mandy Owen, executive member for the environment, added: “These photos show what a blight fly-tipping is to our environment and we will pursue and prosecute anyone caught fly-tipping. We have increased surveillance in a number of fly-tipping hotspots and are working with communities to try and prevent people from dumping rubbish illegally.

“Thanks to Jon’s dedication and hard work, these tyres are no longer leaching chemicals into the water course and soil and we appeal to residents to report anyone they see dumping tyres or any other rubbish in this ravine or anywhere in the borough.”

Find out how to report fly-tipping here.

Jon was helped by the Local Nature Partnership, which funded the cost of two contractors to help remove the tyres.

It’s hoped the area will be designated the eighth and largest Local Nature Reserve in Torfaen in spring next year.

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Hundreds of tyres dumped at Torfaen beauty spot