A business has been ordered to pay a record fine after it was caught dumping rubbish in Epping Forest.

Elvan Food Centre, in Enfield, was found to have left waste in Bury Road car park, part of the forest close to Chingford and Buckhurst Hill.

Rubbish dumped included cardboard, wooden vegetable trays and grocery store packaging.

Uygar Altun, of Enfield, who was responsible for the day-to-day operation of the food centre, was ordered to pay a fine totalling £3,000 at Thames Magistrates Court this week.

Elvan Food Ltd was also ordered to pay £20,430.

The total fine of more than £23,400 was the largest ever to be handed out for dumping rubbish in the forest.

Commenting on the case, District Judge, Jane McIvor, said the fly-tips were “some of the worst she had seen in a long time.”

The ancient woodland is managed by the City of London Corporation, which brought the prosecutions against the company.

Philip Woodhouse, chairman of the Corporation’s Epping Forest Committee, said: “Dumping rubbish in Epping Forest is completely unacceptable and we take a zero-tolerance approach to it.

“It is unsightly, dangerous and damaging to the environment.

"Our job is to protect this ancient woodland and we will prosecute anyone found to be carrying out this sort of illegal activity."

In recent years animals and rubbish dumped in Epping Forest has included a live cat, a live goat, several large dogs, a dead donkey and 16,000 kilogrammes of building waste.

The City of London Corporation offers a £500 reward to individuals who can provide evidence which leads to prosecution for fly tipping.

The corporation also cleans up an average of 600 fly tips and 300 tonnes of rubbish every year in Epping Forest at a cost of £250,000.