When a gang of criminals gained entry into Lea Quarry near Denham, they turned the peaceful nature reserve – part of the Colne Valley Regional Park – into a massive dumping ground, leaving 21 separate loads of commercial rubbish there over three days.

Sifting through one of the loads of dumped rubbish, investigators from Buckinghamshire Council found evidence that led them to an address in West Ealing.

Building work had recently been carried out at the property – and investigators were informed that Noel Mooney of Coldershaw Road, Hanwell, West London, had been the contractor.

Mr Mooney was interviewed under caution and admitted to paying a man, who he only knew as Chris, £200 in cash to take the load away.

He made no checks to see if 'Chris' was a registered waste carrier and did not get any written evidence of the transaction.

Mr Mooney appeared at Wycombe Magistrates' Court on September 2 and pleaded guilty to failing in his duty of care to ensure the waste was disposed of properly.

He was fined £733 and ordered to pay costs totalling £1,562 and a victim surcharge of £73.

Bill Chapple OBE, Buckinghamshire Council cabinet member for environment and climate change, said the council has a zero tolerance rule on fly-tipping.

He said: "The mass dumping in this nature reserve was the work of organised waste criminals, but the reason the criminals carry on this activity is because people such as this builder pay them cash and turn a blind eye.

"That's why we pursue anyone who doesn't take steps to make sure their waste is disposed of properly."