Harry Potter Character's 'Nuisance' Memorial Is Saved

Dobby's admirers are asked not to leave trinkets that threaten wildlife on Wales beach
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 3, 2022 11:02 AM CDT

A stone memorial for a house-elf doesn't just exist in the final Harry Potter book. Fans of the series have created a real-life memorial for the fictional Dobby—a former servant/slave freed by Harry, whom he pays back with his life—on the beach in Wales where his death scene and burial were filmed for 2010's Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, though local environmental officials aren't exactly pleased. They say people far and wide have flocked to Freshwater West Beach in Pembrokeshire, leaving behind a whole bunch of socks—which fans will know were Dobby's favorite article of clothing—along with a wooden cross, trinkets, and a pile of painted rocks.

Some locals complained that the memorial turned the beloved beach and popular filming location, also the site of a 1943 maritime tragedy, into "a bloody mess," per the Washington Post. And an eight-month review found the memorial to be a "nuisance" in the legally protected conservation area that's home to gray seals, porpoises, lizards, and rare ground-nesting birds, according to the outlet. Jonathan Hughes, assistant director of operations at environmental agency National Trust Cymru, says socks and paint "could enter the marine environment and food chain and put wildlife at risk," per CBS News.

The trust is now asking visitors to leave their trinkets at home and "only take photos when visiting the memorial," says Hughes. In exchange, "the memorial to Dobby will remain at Freshwater West in the immediate term for people to enjoy." Wizarding World, the official Harry Potter fan hub, is urging fans to comply, per the Post. "In order to maintain the natural beauty of Dobby's final resting place, we ask that all who wish to pay their respects to 'leave no trace,' commemorating Dobby while respecting the various animals which call these coasts their home," it says in an Instagram post. (More Harry Potter stories.)

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