“MINDLESS flytippers” have been slammed by angry residents and councillors after a huge pile of wood was dumped on a path.

The wood was discovered on Friday morning, blocking a path regularly used by walkers off Hodgson Way, Wickford.

Residents and councillors insisted action must be taken and the flytippers should be prosecuted.

Beryl Telford, 71, who has lived in Shotgate for 32 years, said: “I have never seen this problem here before, it is actually is on the pathway.

“It’s disgusting and a lot of people walk there dogs along this path as do I.”

The rubbish caused an outpouring of fury on social media.

One father said: “Unless the penalties for dumping are made harsher it will continue.

“I would like to see immediate seizure and destruction of any vehicle used and a hefty fine.”

Another said: “Some one missed an opportunity here, they could have been paid to clear it then sold it on for firewood.”

Peter Holliman, Tory councillor for Wickford North, was also left disappointed.

He said: “This is just not on and I know the council has been working hard to try and stop this and have installed cameras at a lot of places.

“This has been successful in catching people and helping to prosecute them and fining them. I really struggle to understand why people do this.

“The tips are open and the council will pick up any item for just a few pounds, but people do this and they then get a fine of thousands of pounds.

“I do not understand the mentally of this and I think there must be something fundamentally wrong as it keeps happening.

“I think that rather than react to these incidents we should be being proactive and when we fine someone we should be finding out so how why people do this.

“Nobody benefits from this at all.”

A Basildon Council spokesman said: “This matter has been reported to us for inspection and removal.We take all measures we can to track down those responsible for fly tipping, and make sure they face hundreds of pounds in fines for their unreasonable actions.”