Harry Potter Dobby’s Grave can remain at Welsh beach – for now
A memorial to the much-loved Harry Potter character, Dobby the House Elf, can remain on an environmentally sensitive Welsh beach, National Trust Wales has said.
Dobby’s ‘grave’ is sited at Freshwater West beach in Pembrokeshire, where the character’s death was filmed.
Concerns about high visitor numbers and pollution had led to a survey on its possible relocation.
A consultation on the sustainable future of Freshwater West by National Trust Wales, which manages the beach, concluded it can stay “in the immediate term”.
National Trust Wales said: “…based on the consultation results, the memorial to Dobby will remain at Freshwater West in the immediate term for people to enjoy.
“The Trust is asking visitors to only take photos when visiting the memorial to help protect the wider landscape. Items like socks, trinkets, and paint chips from painted pebbles could enter the marine environment and food chain and put wildlife at risk.”
The consultation on dobby’s Grave was part of a wider consultation on the area, which saw nearly 5,000 people contributed to two online surveys, with more attending drop-in events, workshops and discussion on a wide range of proposals including car parking, traffic, toilets and signage, key priorities have now been identified for Freshwater West.
75,000 visitors a year
Jonathan Hughes, National Trust Cymru’s Assistant Director Operations, South Wales said: “Freshwater West is a much-loved coastal site and over time, its beauty, expansive beach, good surf and Hollywood filming credentials have seen it become increasingly popular.
“Visitor numbers regularly exceed capacity, and our car park alone welcomes around 75,000 people each year. While we’re delighted that so many want to visit, we have to balance the popularity of the site with impacts on the sensitive nature of the beach and wider environment, and pressure on the facilities and surrounding roads.
“As a conservation charity, our priority is to ensure that visitors have an enjoyable and safe experience, whilst also safeguarding this special landscape so it can be enjoyed for generations to come.
“We are pleased to be able to share the findings and proposals from the consultation that will inform an action plan, subject to planning permission and funding, for the next steps at Freshwater West.”
Freshwater West is managed by multiple groups, with National Trust Cymru caring for the car parks, toilet block, and much of the landscape behind the beach.
The ownership of rest of the site is split between the Angle Estate, Pembrokeshire County Council and the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority cares for the beach on behalf of the Crown Estate.
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