Fly-tipping hotspot on 'Road to Nowhere' is restored to nature

Notorious fly-tipping hotspot dubbed ‘The Road to Nowhere’ on abandoned dual carriageway in Wales is restored to nature after campaigners help remove mountains of rubbish including 1,800 tyres

  • Campaigners hope to turn the Road to Nowhere into the Road to Nature after recycling 85% of the rubbish 
  • The rubbish on the disused road off the M4 in Newport, south Wales was visible from satellite on Google Earth 
  • Also called a ‘haven for rats’, the tipping hotspot was piled high with sofas, fridges, tyres, doors and bathtubs

A notorious fly-tipping hotspot dubbed ‘The Road to Nowhere’ on an abandoned dual carriageway in Wales has been restored to nature after campaigners undertook a major clear up including the removal of 1,800 tyres. 

The disused road off the M4 in Newport was piled so high with waste it was visible from satellite on Google Earth. 

Streams of rubbish lay everywhere with fridges, piles of clothes, bathtubs, sofas and doors scattered across the dumping ground near the A48. 

The road, originally constructed in the 1990s to give access to a now-closed factory, has been an issue in the area for many years, with locals branding the site a ‘haven for rats’ and urging action on fly-tipping which they claimed has become worse during lockdown. 

Council lorries took away the piles of waste from The Road to Nowhere while campaigners also took part in litter picks to clear the rubbish.  

Some 85 percent of the rubbish including suitcases and 1,800 tyres is now gone from the site following the clean up by Friends of the Road to Nature campaign group and Newport City Council. 

The campaigners want to clear more and say they also hope to turn it from the ‘Road to Nowhere’ into the ‘Road to Nature’ following their clean up. 

A notorious fly-tipping hotspot dubbed ‘The Road to Nowhere’ where mountains of rubbish could be seen from space has been restored to nature after campaigners undertook a major clear up including the removal of 1,800 tyres. Pictured: How it looked 

The dumping ground off the M4 in south Wales was piled so high with waste it was visible from satellites on Google Earth, pictured

Lorries took away piles of waste such as suitcases, car tyres. clothes and 1,800 tyres while campaigners also took part in litter picks to clear the rubbish (Pictured after the clean up)

One member of Friends of the Road to Nature, Helena Antoniou said: ‘We can’t wait to see the site develop into a green space for biodiversity support and community engagement.

‘Plans are now in motion to transform the site into a clean and green landscape for wildlife to flourish.’

The group have plans to grow trees and plants to encourage biodiversity.

She added: ‘Long-term, we hope to add benches on the Road to Nature giving members of the public the chance to sit and socialise while enjoying the surroundings.’

A neighbour living nearby said in April 2020 that rats have been seen feeding at the site which used to be an access road to the former LG site in the parish of Coedkernew. 

They said: ‘The vermin it attracts is awful.

‘It’s such an eyesore. No-one seems to be doing anything about it. It seems to be out of sight, out of mind.’ 

Streams of rubbish lay everywhere with car tyres, piles of clothes, suitcases and doors scattered across the disused road near Newport


A total of 85 per cent of the rubbish is now gone from the site thanks to Friends of the Road to Nature but the campaign group continue to clear what is left. They also hope to turn it from the Road to Nowhere into the Road to Nature following their clean up

Fly-tipping incidents increased by 32.8%  in Newport during the pandemic, according to the Welsh Government. The figures of total incidents in this local authority area were 2,725 in 2019/20, and 4,060 in 2020/21.

Resident Chris Taylor filmed the scale of the rubbish two years ago while out on his daily exercise with his family.

He said: ‘It’s been like this for some time. The frustrating thing about it is the scenery around it is amazing. The cycle path is lovely but then you turn in to this.

‘It’s a concern as it is so close to the houses.

‘At the end of the road there is an abandoned boat wreckage.

‘It doesn’t seem to be very well patrolled.

‘As I understand it, it’s been going on for years.’

Newport councillor Allan Morris, who lives nearby the site at Coedkernew, believed in 2020 that rogue waste collectors may be to blame.

He said: ‘People are accumulating more rubbish because they are at home all the time.

‘But unscrupulous people are taking advantage of sensible people staying home because there are fewer eyes on them dumping their unwanted goods.

‘If people are paying people to take their stuff away, you should ask for photos of it at its final destination before you part with your money.’ 

It has been an issue in the area for many years, with locals branding the site a ‘haven for rats’ and urging action on fly-tipping which they claimed had gotten worse during lockdown (lorry on the road to nowhere looking a lot cleaner)


A neighbour living nearby said in April 2020 that rats have been seen feeding at the site, pictured before the clean up left. Plans are now in motion to transform the site, pictured after the clean up right, into a clean and green landscape for wildlife to flourish

Newport council has now cleared the road as part of plans to clean up the city’s streets and will police it with CCTV in an effort to defer fly-tippers from returning to the area. 

A Newport City Council spokeswoman said: ‘The land in question is owned by a number of organisations and private owners.

‘We’re currently working with partners including NRW, Fly-tipping Action Wales, police, fire and Welsh Government to establish all ownership details and develop an action plan so we can prosecute and prevent further dumping.’

Pamela Jordan, senior fly-tipping officer at Fly Tipping Action Wales, said: ‘We’re proud to see the community working together to continue site clearance and develop the space for public use.

‘We’re especially proud to have recycled 85 per cent of the waste which had been fly-tipped on the land.’

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