More than 200 tonnes of waste - including asbestos, thousands of tyres, drums of contaminated cooking oil and a dead donkey - has been dumped on Epping Forest land this year.

Last week staff from the City of London Corporation removed a demolished kitchen from Wanstead Flats, the latest of 652 reported incidents of flytipping in the forest this year.

The man tasked with managing the problem is the City of London Corporation’s Superintendent, Paul Thomson.

He said: “It costs us £250,000 a year to employ a team of nine people to deal with the problem and we have already spent £50,000 removing waste this year.

“Incidents of flytipping are actually down by 17percent, but it is still a dreadful number of incidents we are dealing with.”

Last year only two of 782 cases of flytipping on forest land were successfully prosecuted.

Mr Thomson said: “We have to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the person has dumped the waste and that can be very difficult unless they have left incriminating evidence like an invoice.

“Even if we do catch up with people, some of them claim their rubbish has been stolen or that they can’t remember who they employed to get rid of it. It is very frustrating.”

While Mr Thomson said the majority of serious flytipping took place in the north of the forest under the cover of darkness, he said that incidents like the one on Wanstead Flats were not uncommon.

And he called on the police to do more to tackle the problem by checking for Waste Transfer Licences.

“A lot of organised crime has moved into commercial dumping because they know very few people go to jail for it and it is perceived as a victimless crime,” he said.

“While I am not blaming the police, we do think more needs to be done in terms of stopping people and spot checks.

“There are 52 car parks and roads criss-crossing the forest which gives people a lot of places to dump their waste.

“It is very difficult for us to keep track of the problem.”

Anyone with information regarding suspicious vehicles and flytipping activity on Forest Land should call 020 8532 1010 or email