Home Lifestyle Tourists visiting this ‘beautiful’ UK beach could face £1,000 fines

Tourists visiting this ‘beautiful’ UK beach could face £1,000 fines

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Calfclose Bay at Derwentwater is a popular spot in the Lake District (Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

With summer fast approaching and yet more bank holidays on the horizon, a trip to the beach might seem increasingly appealing.

And up north in Cumberland, there’s an array of stunning spots that have proven popular with both locals and visitors, from the ‘absolutely beautiful’ Calfclose Bay in Derwentwater to Grange-over-Sands just north of Morecambe Bay.  

However, if picking up a few pebbles during your visit seems tempting, be warned: because it could come with a hefty fine.

Growing up, it was relatively normal to spend hours on the shores searching for the very best pebbles to take home or even skim across the water.

Now, Cumberland Council has warned visitors to beaches across the area that, should they remove pebbles or shells as many have done in days gone by, they could be fined up to £1,000.

The move is part of a wider effort to educate people on the damage it can cause to the environment, as shells and pebbles do more than meets the eye, providing a natural barrier and protecting the surrounding land from both coastal erosion and flooding, as Neil Dixon from Cumberland Council told the BBC.

‘Although it might seem harmless to remove a few stones and pebbles from our beaches it is actually quite detrimental to the delicate ecosystem that is situated here,’ Neil said.



The UK’s most beautiful beaches revealed, according to Instagram

1. Kynance Cove, Cornwall

2. Brighton Beach, East Sussex

3. Fistral Beach, Cornwall

4. Scarborough Beach, Yorkshire

5. Botany Bay, Kent

6. Seagrove Beach, Isle of Wight

7. Porthcurno Beach, Cornwall

8. Bigbury-on-Sea, Devon

9. Durdle Door Beach, Dorset

10. Loch Morlich, Glenmore.

Elsewhere, one famous beach destination in Italy has warned tourists that they could face similarly large fines should they attempt to take some of the sand home with them.

In an effort to protect its 2,000km-long stretch of coastline, Sardinia has announced that visitors to its beaches could risk a €3,000 (£2,500) fine if they’re caught taking sand, shingle or pebbles home with them.

No, we’re not talking about the buckets of sand that’ll inevitably find their way into your pockets (and just about everywhere else) after a day on the beach: we’re talking about the people who deliberately swipe it, whether to decorate their gardens or as a holiday souvenir.

Sardinia has also banned people from taking sand home with them (Picture: Getty Images)

The sand theft situation is so severe in Italy that advocacy group Sardegna Rubata e Depredata (Sardinia Robbed and Plundered) estimates that, in 2021, six tonnes of sand went missing from the beach. For perspective, that’s roughly the weight of three cars.

‘Only a fraction of the tourists visiting Sardinia spend their time digging up to 40kg of sand each,’ environmental scientist Pierluigi Cocco told the BBC.

Elephant Rock Beach is similarly popular with tourists (Picture: Getty Images)

‘But if you multiply half that amount times five per cent of the one million tourists per year … that would contribute significantly to the reduction of beaches.’

So, the next time you’re on holiday, stick to taking a postcard or a fridge magnet home with you, rather than a vital part of the coastline.

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