An investigation into dozens of giant heaps of waste dumped illegally across southern England has led to an arrest.

A 44-year-old man from Maidenhead was held at Eton Wick on Tuesday by Thames Valley Police in connection with large-scale illegal waste-tipping in Surrey, west London, Buckinghamshire, Kent and Hampshire.

The spate of incidents started in March this year and has so far seen 35 amounts of waste deposited unlawfully, with 100 tonnes dumped in one go in some cases.

The arrest is part of an ongoing investigation between the police, Environment Agency, the Metropolitan Police and Thames Valley and Surrey forces.

A tipper lorry and van believed to be involved in the illegal activity were seized as part of the operation.

The investigation continues, with various lines of enquiry being pursued.

Emma Viner, area enforcement manager for the Environment Agency, said: “We are pleased an arrest has been made in connection with suspected large-scale illegal dumping across four counties and west London.

“Waste criminals put both the environment and local communities at risk with their reckless actions. The Environment Agency is determined to bring culprits to justice.

“We encourage anyone with information on these incidents to contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”

Last year, the Environment Agency stopped illegal waste activity at 812 sites – more than two a day, disrupting illegal operators and helping legitimate business to grow. In 2017/18, the Environment Agency took out 93 successful waste-crime prosecutions, resulting in 17 prison sentences.