Dumped motorway tyres transformed into sand baths for chickens

Highways England, the government-owned company which operates and maintains England’s motorways, donated the tyres to a charity after spotting them next to an A45 layby in Northamptonshire.

After around 70 tyres were left on an embankment next to an A45 layby in Northamptonshire and on the edge of a popular fishing lake, Highways England immediately thought of NANNA (Northamptonshire Animals Needing Nurturing and Adoption).

Much to the charity’s delight, Highways England was able to donate some of the dumped tyres which will now be transformed into sand baths for the chickens and geese and will also be used as planters.

Highways England Project Manager Dean Holloway said fly-tipping is “damaging for the wildlife and environment” and that workers’ time would be better spent “improving the network.”

“But at least in this instance we were were able to ensure something good came out of the reckless fly-tipping. We are always grateful for people’s patience when carrying out major projects such as the Chowns Mill roundabout improvements and therefore like to ensure we are being a good neighbour and to support local communities,” he said.

The tyres that were spotted by a fishing lake on the side of the A45. (Highways England)

Fly-tipping has sadly been on the rise in Britain as over 1 million incidents (1,072,000) were recorded between April 2018 and March 2019, an increase of 8% from the 998,000 reported in 2017/18.

This was estimated to cost councils £58m to clean up.

While the maximum fine for fly-tipping is £50,000 and/or a five year prison sentence, 83% of the court-imposed fines in the last six years were below £500.

However, Highways England made sure the tyres were put to good use.

“We had previously visited NANNA to see if we could support them and they had mentioned needing a few tyres. So when these tyres were illegally dumped we knew they would appreciate some,” Mr Holloway added.

The charity NANNA, which helps domestic and wild animals, has around 750 animals on their site at Irthlingborough.

Co-founder and trustee Petrina Alderman said the charity was “over the moon” and that it was “perfect timing” for their birds.

“We will paint the tyres and fill them with sand and soft soil for the birds to use as baths. It helps their plumage to stay nice and deal with any parasites,” she said.

At the time, the Highways England team were working on the Chowns Mill improvement scheme which will tackle congestion at Chowns Mill roundabout where the A45 is crossed by the A6.

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