USUALLY it is a rural phenomenon. The night-time dumping of trash by the side of a country lane in the middle of nowhere, often somewhere in the Meon Valley.

But the shy nocturnal flytipper looks to be extending his habitat into urban areas, much like the foxes.

Perhaps emboldened by the cover of darkness the flytipper now perhaps cannot be bothered to find some remote part of the countryside.

Instead he dumps his rubbish closer to home.

A pile of dirty mattresses have been found dumped by the side of the road in Winchester city centre.

They were discovered in Park Avenue, just metres away from the entrance to Winchester School of Art and two minutes walk from the High Street, last week.

But the city council says it will be “difficult” to catch the culprit.

A spokesman said: “When we are provided with evidence of who the fly-tippers are and where the waste came from, we will wherever appropriate investigate and we currently have a 100 per cent success rate in regards to fly-tipping prosecutions.

“In this case however we have not been contacted by any witnesses which means investigating this fly-tip is very difficult.

“But if anyone saw the incident please can they get in touch with Winchester City Council and report it to Environment Team on 0300 300 0013.”