IF YOU look above the skies above Ross-on-Wye and spot a drone hovering above, it could be looking for evidence of fly-tipping and other environmental crime.

With the new drone, Herefordshire Council’s community protection team is now able to more easily gather information about illegal waste disposal in areas not easily and safely accessed on foot.

The drone, which is operated by a fully trained and accredited pilot, collects high quality footage which will be used to assist in the prosecution of any person carrying out environmental crime.  The drone has already helped to gather evidence of fly-tipping at remote spots, and on the full extent of illegal waste disposal which is not clearly seen at ground level.

Councillor Barry Durkin, cabinet member roads and regulatory services, said: “It’s important we protect our outstanding natural environment, and we will use all the technology we can to do this. The new drone is already proving to be a valuable tool in supporting our community protection team to investigate reports of waste being dumped illegally.

“So our message is clear to anyone thinking they can dispose of waste or carry out any illegal activities in any area where they think that it will go undetected – we won’t hesitate to use our Eye in the Sky to protect Herefordshire.” The drone was purchased through a government grant for projects to help protect the environment. It will also be used by the authority’s planning, estate management and ecology departments when access is an issue.