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PPE stash 'dumped' on Totton campsite given removal deadline

Aug 30, 2023

A stash of personal protective equipment (PPE) found on a campsite must be removed by September, the Environment Agency has said.

Thousands of old PPE items were discovered at Little Testwood Farm, Totton, on 4 April.

Hampshire County Council said it breached the site's licence but New Forest District Council said it was due to be recycled.

Investigators are looking into how the equipment ended up in the forest.

The store was found during an investigation into the use of the land by New Forest District Council.

Hampshire county councillors previously heard it might have been illegally dumped during the pandemic.

In June, a report described how thousands of packs of medical aprons were "dumped on the land with no obvious signs that they were being protected or stored for some future use".

Members of the county council's regulatory committee were told the haul was "hidden away" down the back and was difficult to access, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

Environment Agency investigators will see whether the PPE was related to the Covid-19 response, whether the items were defective, and how and why the equipment ended up in the forest.

In 2022, Department for Health and Social Care accounts for the previous year revealed £673m worth of PPE bought during the pandemic was unusable, while £750m of equipment was not used before its expiry date.

The Environment Agency imposed a number of conditions on the site's owner, including that the site must be completely cleared by 6 September.

An Environment Agency spokesman said "good progress" was being made to clear the site of the PPE.

"Our specialist officers are monitoring progress to ensure no environmental impact on land or water," it added.

Specialist Environment Agency officers continue to monitor the area.

The BBC previously approached the campsite for comment.

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Large PPE store to be removed from caravan site

Environment Agency

Hampshire County Council

New Forest District Council