AN ARREST has been made in connection to a major flytipping incident in a wooded area of Upton Grey, which saw as much as 20 tonnes of waste dumped.

The waste was dumped in land off a woodland path in Greywell Road on Sunday.

The flytipped items appeared to be processed and containing a range of plastic objects.

Following a spate of incidents across the south of England and a subsequent ongoing investigation between the Environment Agency, the Metropolitan Police and Thames Valley and Surrey forces, a man has been arrested.

A 44-year-old man from Maidenhead, Berkshire, has been arrested in connection with the Upton Grey flytipping incident, as well as a large-scale illegal waste-tipping spanning across Surrey, west London, Buckinghamshire, Kent and Hampshire.

The man was held at Eton Wick, Berkshire, on Tuesday, 21 May by Thames Valley Police. The spate of incidents started in March this year, with 35 amounts of waste dumped unlawfully, with 100 tonnes of waste being dumped in one go in some cases.

As well as dumping in Upton Grey, as much as 20 tonnes of waste was also dumped in Hayley Lane in Long Sutton, and in Froyle Road in Shalden.

A tipper lorry and van believed to be involved in the illegal activity have been seized as part of the operation. The investigation is still ongoing.

Emma Viner, area enforcement manager for the Environment Agency, said: “We are pleased an arrest has been made in connection with suspected large-scale illegal dumping across four counties and west London.

“Waste criminals put both the environment and local communities at risk with their reckless actions. The Environment Agency is determined to bring culprits to justice.

“We encourage anyone with information on these incidents to contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”

Newly-elected leader of Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, Councillor Ken Rhatigan, said on Monday in regard to the Upton Grey incident: “This is a commercial operation dumping this processed waste and somebody has to be held responsible for this.

“This is without doubt one of the worst examples of flytipping in the borough for a number of years and I am appalled by this behaviour.”

Cllr Rhatigan added: “"There are no words for people who spoil our countryside. There are no words for people who take money and don't do their jobs."