What are the rules for social distancing when you’re dumping your rubbish in somebody’s gateway?


As you can see we had visitors, and Sal, as the one in charge and the representative of the proper authorities, is inspecting the evidence. Yesterday, some responsible citizen mowed their lawn. Then they trimmed their hedge and put it through the shredder. Finally they loaded it all into their car and at some point after 5 pm, drove around looking for a place to tip it. Finally they alighted on our gateway.
I confess I struggle to understand mental processes of a person who takes a great deal of care to get their own place looking nice and then dumps their mess on somebody else? I mean, why don’t they just throw it over the hedge into next door and hack them off?


Just in case the rules have changed I went to the official page to see what you were allowed to do. There I read the following.


“You should only leave the house for very limited purposes:


shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible.

one form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household.

any medical need, including to donate blood, avoid or escape risk of injury or harm, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person.

travelling for work purposes, but only where you cannot work from home.”


Perhaps ‘tipping your crap out of the car and into the hedge’ comes under the ‘one form of exercise a day?’ I suppose we should think ourselves lucky it didn’t include nappies and baby wipes.


Last Christmas some muppet drove out of town and dumped a car full of bottles, wrapping paper etc in a gateway of ours. (Is there a pattern here? Are they choosing religious festivals?) Several people saw the heap and posted photos of it all over facebook. Just to shame them into tidying up.
It obviously did have an effect, in a moment of revelation they realised that wrapping paper and envelopes would have their address on. So they came back, sorted through it, and took away everything with an address, leaving the rest.

Well almost everything with an address. Several people locally had already gone through the rubbish and had also extracted envelopes with addresses etc.

Now when I discovered the address I was tempted to drop round with a loader bucket of slurry and tip in on their drive for them. But I resisted the temptation. Instead several people reported it to our local authority, where the chap in charge was utterly hacked off by the way people were tipping rubbish. When he got the name and address he prosecuted and they were fined £600.

Which was rather more than I would have charged them for a loader bucket full of slurry.


There again, what do I know?


As a reviewer commented, “This book charts a year in the life of a Cumbrian sheep farmer. It’s sprinkled with anecdotes and memories of other years. Some parts (especially when featuring Sal, the Border Collie) were so funny as to cause me to have to read them out loud to my husband. It’s very interesting to read these things from the pen of the man who is actually out there doing it – usually in the rain! A very good read.”

Tagged: , , , ,

20 thoughts on “What are the rules for social distancing when you’re dumping your rubbish in somebody’s gateway?

  1. M T McGuire April 12, 2020 at 2:11 pm Reply

    I so hope this person is found and that you are less laid back about the slurry this time. What cockwombles some people are.

  2. The Diary of a Country Bumpkin April 12, 2020 at 4:33 pm Reply

    It’s such a shame the law won’t allow you to dump the slurry!

    • jwebster2 April 12, 2020 at 4:45 pm Reply

      The ridiculous thing is, if they’d asked, we’ve got places where they could have dumped it and it would have got ploughed in usefully!

      • The Diary of a Country Bumpkin April 12, 2020 at 4:53 pm

        People dump rubbish where we live, there is one unfortunate farmer who has stuff dumped at one of his gates which is by a lay-bye all the time, it must drive him mad, I know it would me.

      • jwebster2 April 12, 2020 at 5:13 pm

        It is a constant issue. We get everything from fast food cartons to three piece suits, and even a caravan!
        Fortunately the local authority are pretty good at shifting stuff if you ask them

  3. rugby843 April 12, 2020 at 5:20 pm Reply

    Great post. When we lived away from everyone else, we had kittens and pups dropped off in our driveway.

    Sent from my iPad


    • jwebster2 April 12, 2020 at 5:36 pm Reply

      Yes we tended to get pregnant cats who were tossed out of cars which then sped off. Haven’t had that for a while to be honest

      • rugby843 April 12, 2020 at 5:42 pm

        Luckily we had a woodshed and they used to nest on the old wooden barrels that were stored there.

      • jwebster2 April 12, 2020 at 6:25 pm

        Yes ours would disappear into barns and appear later with a brood of feral kittens

  4. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt April 12, 2020 at 5:43 pm Reply

    This is, in my twisted mind, one of the reasons I believe in God.

    And one of the reasons I try to live a life that doesn’t do things like this, deliberately.

    Because the only way these people will ever be held to account for the minor and major sufferings they casually inflict on others is called The Final Judgment.

    I dunno. Sometimes it gives me both solace and compassion.

    Happy Easter.

  5. Widdershins April 13, 2020 at 2:55 am Reply

    Sometimes, just sometimes, Justice not only happens but is seen to happen.

    • jwebster2 April 13, 2020 at 5:27 am Reply

      That is now actually a feature of English law. To quote the wiki

      R v Sussex Justices, ex parte McCarthy ([1924] 1 KB 256, [1923] All ER Rep 233) is a leading English case on the impartiality and recusal of judges. It is famous for its precedence in establishing the principle that the mere appearance of bias is sufficient to overturn a judicial decision. It also brought into common parlance the oft-quoted aphorism “Not only must Justice be done; it must also be seen to be done.”

  6. Eddy Winko April 13, 2020 at 5:59 am Reply

    Are these people mad? They are clearly keen gardeners and yet don’t have a compost pile!
    I hope justice is served 🙂

    • jwebster2 April 13, 2020 at 12:54 pm Reply

      I must admit I struggle to understand them as well. The builder tipping rubble I can sort of understand, the fly-by-night shyster saving a few quid.
      But surely gardeners know about compost!

  7. Jane Sturgeon April 13, 2020 at 12:23 pm Reply

    My thought was composting! Farmers are hard pushed as it is and do not need to handle other people’s crap. The telling line from you is ‘If they had just talked to you, you could have ploughed it in somewhere useful’.

    • jwebster2 April 13, 2020 at 12:51 pm Reply

      Exactly. I once almost caught a builder tipping rubble in a gateway but I was on foot and he saw me and was out of sight before I could get his number
      But if the muppet had come to us, we had scores of places he could have tipped it and been useful

      • Jane Sturgeon April 13, 2020 at 12:58 pm

        Yes, exactly, Jim. Community communication and intelligent thinking. Love flowing up the coast to you all. ❤

      • jwebster2 April 13, 2020 at 1:13 pm

        cheers 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: