“Beachgoers Warned of Heavy Fines for Pebble and Shell Removal: Cumbria Council Issues Strict Guidelines Under Coastal Protection Act

Under the Coastal Protection Act, individuals could face fines of up to £1,000 for contravening regulations that prohibit the removal of natural materials such as sand, shells, and pebbles.

Council Aims to Educate Visitors on Environmental Impact

Cumberland Council has initiated efforts to educate beach visitors about the detrimental effects of removing shells and pebbles from the coastline.

Neil Dixon, a representative from the council, emphasized the importance of these natural elements in safeguarding the land from coastal erosion, highlighting the delicate ecosystem at stake.

Mixed Reactions from Locals and Visitors

While the council’s stance aims to protect the environment, it has sparked controversy among both locals and visitors.

Some individuals expressed disappointment with the threat of fines, arguing that collecting shells is a cherished tradition and enjoyable aspect of beach visits.

Council Responds to Criticism

In response to criticism, Cumberland Councillor Bob Kelly defended the council’s position, acknowledging the reluctance of some to adhere to the guidelines.

However, he underscored the environmental significance of pebbles and shells, citing their role as natural sea defenses, flood barriers, and wildlife habitats.

Balancing Conservation with Public Enjoyment

The debate surrounding pebble and shell collection underscores the delicate balance between conservation efforts and public enjoyment of natural resources.

As authorities strive to preserve coastal ecosystems for future generations, they face the challenge of reconciling environmental protection with recreational activities synonymous with beach visits.

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