This is the shocking scene caused by a fly-tipper who has ditched a whole house worth of belongings at a coastal nature reserve.
A sofa, bed, heaps of clothes and toys were among the huge pile of waste left at Limekiln Gill, Horden.
Helpfully for Durham County Council, which is working with the National Trust in an investigation into the incident, the name and address of the person believed to behind it were also among the letters found in the rubbish,
Eric Wilton, general manager for the Durham Coast for the trust, said: “Our rangers were alerted to the dumping of a large quantity of household rubbish, including a bed, sofa, clothing and other household items, on some of the land we care for, as well as on adjacent land owned by Durham County Council.
“It’s very disappointing and incredibly frustrating when things like this happen, as it means we have to divert time and resources away from other work we’re doing to deal with them.
“The cost of clearing up fly-tipped waste can be considerable.
It’s very disappointing and incredibly frustrating when things like this happen as it means we have to divert time and resources away from other work we’re doing to deal with them.Eric Wilton
“As a charity we’d much rather invest our limited funds in conservation work that will help to maintain and improve the area for visitors and wildlife, such as our Durham Argus butterfly project, which is improving habitats to help this rare butterfly only found in County Durham to thrive.
“The coastline is enjoyed by many, and we know how upsetting it is to see areas like this left in such a mess.
“As well as being unsightly, waste like this can also damage the delicate ecosystem of this extremely rare habitat, which is part of the Durham Heritage Coast, and have a negative impact on the wildlife that lives here, including rare wildflowers, butterflies and birds.
“We take such matters very seriously and are working closely with the council, which is now investigating the matter.
“We’d urge anyone with any information about this incident to contact Durham County Council.”
Ian Hoult, the council’s neighbourhood protection manager, said: “We visited the scene of this fly-tip and recovered evidence which we will be following up as part of our investigation.
“We have removed the waste and would appeal for anyone with information on the incident to contact us.”
Durham Heritage Coast has also slammed whoever is behind the incident, which came to light last Wednesday.
A spokesman called it a “terrible mess” and added: “Our colleagues from the National Trust work so hard to conserve the Durham Coast and organise events such as the half marathon which attracts many visitors.
“This is what they have to deal with.”
The council’s Streetscene department can be called on 03000 261 000 and hope the public will continue to support us by reporting any suspicious behaviour they see in the future to the police on the non-emergency number 101.