‘Harry Potter’ fans are being told to stop leaving socks at Dobby’s grave at Freshwater West Beach as it has started to become an environmental concern for wildlife KossyDerrickBlog KossyDerrickEnt

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Wednesday, November 2, 2022

‘Harry Potter’ fans are being told to stop leaving socks at Dobby’s grave at Freshwater West Beach as it has started to become an environmental concern for wildlife

“Harry Potter” fans are being urged not to leave socks at the site of a memorial for the house elf Dobby at Freshwater West Beach in Pembrokeshire, Wales. 

The location is where the production of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1” shot Dobby’s death scene. In the “Harry Potter” novels, Dobby dies in Harry’s arms and tells him the beach is “such a beautiful place to be with friends.” The film team settled on the expansive Freshwater West Beach to do justice to the moment.

“Harry Potter” fans are being urged not to leave socks at the site of a memorial for the house elf Dobby at Freshwater West Beach in Pembrokeshire, Wales. The location is where the production of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1” shot Dobby’s death scene. In the “Harry Potter” novels, Dobby dies in Harry’s arms and tells him the beach is “such a beautiful place to be with friends.” The film team settled on the expansive Freshwater West Beach to do justice to the moment.

After “Harry Potter” fans erected a memorial for Dobby at the filming location, many more fans were inspired to visit Freshwater West Beach and leave socks at the site. The socks are a tribute to Dobby, who is freed from indentured servitude after his evil owner, Lucius Malfoy, is tricked into gifting him a sock. Dobby wears the sock until his death.

“Harry Potter” fans have left so many socks at the Dobby memorial that it started to become an environmental concern for Freshwater West Beach. Environmental officials from the conservation charity National Trust Wales conducted an eight-month review of the site (via The New York Times) and decided to allow the memorial to stay standing, although a warning to fans has now been issued.

“The memorial to Dobby will remain at Freshwater West in the immediate term for people to enjoy,” the National Trust Wales said in a statement. “The Trust is asking visitors to only take photos when visiting the memorial to help protect the wider landscape.”

The National Trust Wales noted in its review findings that “items like socks, trinkets and paint chips from painted pebbles could enter the marine environment and food chain and put wildlife at risk.”

“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,” Jonathan Hughes, an official with National Trust Wales, added.

Freshwater West Beach became a landmark for Harry Potter fans after the fantasy franchise shot Dobby’s death scene there for 2010’s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1. In the film, the elf dies in Harry’s arms at the beach, which he describes in his final moments as “such a beautiful place to be with friends.” In the years since the movie’s release, fans have erected a memorial to the beloved character on the beach, bringing socks (which freed Dobby from his master Lucius Malfoy), painted rocks (which Potter used to honor the elf in the film), and other items.

After an eight-month review, however, National Trust Wales has asked fans to cease bringing physical tributes to the memorial. “The memorial to Dobby will remain at Freshwater West in the immediate term for people to enjoy,” the charity said in a statement. However, “The Trust is asking visitors to only take photos when visiting the memorial to help protect the wider landscape” because “items like socks, trinkets and paint chips from painted pebbles could enter the marine environment and food chain and put wildlife at risk.”

“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,” Jonathan Hughes, an official with National Trust Wales, said.

Harry Potter has taken a bit of a reputation blow in recent years thanks to its transphobic creator J.K. Rowling, but Daniel Radcliffe — who played the titular character in its films — has attempted to make good with fans by assuring them that “not everybody” in the franchise shares Rowling’s transphobic beliefs.

‘Harry Potter’ fans are being told to stop leaving socks at Dobby’s grave at Freshwater West Beach as it has started to become an environmental concern for wildlife.

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