FARMERS and landowners fear the Yorkshire countryside could become a scrapyard for abandoned cars.

The Country Land and Business Association (CLA) says that EU legislation to reduce pollution from old vehicles could leave wrecks littering the landscape.

They say local authorities may then have to spend thousands of pounds to remove them.

The CLA wants the Government to reconsider its plan to impose a £60 charge on owners to have their scrap vehicles drained of pollutants.

Regional director Dorothy Fairburn said that tourism would suffer and farms would be damaged because owners would dump their cars to avoid paying the new charge.

"It is good for the environment if this new legislation reduces pollution, but it is the way in which the Government plans to introduce it that is bound to increase the growing problem of cars, scrap and other rubbish being tipped in roadside fields," she said.

"Our members already have to contend with the dangers of old cars being dumped or set on fire, often damaging crops and hedges.

"This proposal is obviously going to make matters much worse. It is bound to impose a big cost on local councils, quite apart from ruining the countryside for tourists and residents too."