A popular scenic reserve in Levin has been marred by fly tipping.

A large pile of what appeared to be car panels were dumped in Waiopehu Reserve on Queen Street East and set alight some time over the weekend.

A local resident who discovered the mess said the panels looked to be from a late model car which made her question if it could have been stolen, although this had not been confirmed.

Horowhenua District Council said the mess had been reported to them on Sunday and had now been cleared up.

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Ann Clark, Parks and Property Lead South said fly tipping had an extremely detrimental effect on the environment and was taken seriously by the council and if perpetrators were identified they would be contacted.

"Horowhenua District Council prohibits fly tipping to maintain a clean and tidy district, and to limit environmental impacts," she said.

"Reports of dumped rubbish go to Council's contractor, who looks at the material to identify the source. If identifying information is found, council officers contact the person who dumped the rubbish."

She said Illegal dumping of rubbish or littering in public places, on roadsides and in parks and reserves, is an offence under the Litter Act 1979.

"Anyone doing this can be fined $400 on the spot or, if prosecuted, with resulting fines of up to $5000."

Waiopehu Reserve has been a protected scenic area for over a century and is a popular spot with locals. It has several bush walks, a stream and picnic tables as well as remnants of native forest.

Fly tipping has been a repeated issue in Horowhenua with people dumping large amounts of rubbish in areas of natural beauty.

If you see anyone dumping rubbish, or discover refuse contact Horowhenua District Council on 06 366 0999.

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