Harry Potter fans have been urged to stop leaving socks and painted rocks on a Welsh beach filmed as the final resting place of Dobby the house elf.
Freshwater West, a mile-long pristine sandy beach in Pembrokeshire, was used as the location for the grave of Dobby in a scene from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1.
Since being identified the beach has become a Mecca for Potter fans who leave socks as a tribute. In the film Dobby is granted his freedom when he receives the item of foot clothing.
Dobby was a key character in the Harry Potter films and died at the hands of Bellatrix Lestrange after rescuing Harry and friends in the seventh film and book of the series.
A large cairn of painted rocks, dolls and socks has now built up amongst the dunes becoming a concern to environmentalists.
The National Trust, which manages the beach, had become so concerned about the build-up of objects it had considered removing the shrine.
But after conducting a survey the organisation said Dobby’s tribute could stay but that fans should not continue to add items to it.
In a statement, it said: “The trust is asking visitors to only take photos.
“Items like socks, trinkets, and paint chips from painted pebbles could enter the marine environment and food chain and put wildlife at risk.”
“The memorial to Dobby will remain at Freshwater West in the immediate term for people to enjoy”.
As well as forming a backdrop for the Harry Potter franchises, Freshwater also acted as the landing site for French invading forces in the 2010 Russell Crowe film, Robin Hood.
Wildlife is abundant in the area with grey seals, harbour porpoises and several species of rare lizard, flower and ground-nesting birds found in the area.
John Hodge, from Milford Haven, built a wooden cross for the site in 2020 after his granddaughter asked him to.
He told ITV news: “The debate should be about the happiness Dobby’s grave brings to so many children like my granddaughter.
“With all that is going on in the world a bit of make-believe is welcome. It’s a pity the council wouldn’t put up a grave marker for children to see.
“If people complain about the untidiness why not organise a ‘Dobby grave tidy’.”
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