The case emerged after complaints that beach visitors are being ‘aggressively’ threatened with prosecution for taking stones home from Crackington Haven.
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Tourist who took forbidden stones, forced to bring them back

There’s nothing like taking a pebble home from the beach to remind you of those holiday good times.

But beware where you pick them up from – one man who took some from a Cornish beauty spot found himself being hunted down by officials who demanded them back.

In the end he was forced to travel hundreds of miles to return them or face prosecution.

The case emerged after complaints that beach visitors are being ‘aggressively’ threatened with prosecution for taking stones home from Crackington Haven.

The case emerged after complaints that beach visitors are being ‘aggressively’ threatened with prosecution for taking stones home from Crackington Haven.

Visitors could be fined up to £1,000 because the removal of stones leaves the area exposed to erosion, St Gennys Parish Council said.

The beach where a tourist picked the stone.
The beach where a tourist picked the stone.

Critics, however, claim that signs put up to deter visitors from taking them are heavy handed and spoil the beach.

Parish council clerk Barry Jordan said the signs were installed in late July due to many complaints to the council about stones being removed.

In one case the council traced a holidaymaker back to his home hundreds of miles away and he drove a carrier bag of stones all the way back to the beach, Mr Jordan said.

‘Those who saw the damage of the floods a few years ago know what water can do. Take away the pebbles and the haven would be damaged during every storm.’

Local resident Jackie Carpenter said: ‘They [the signs] ruin the view and they also provide a horrible ‘police-state’ sort of environment.’

Another local, Lisa Ward, added: ‘I have overheard visitors walking onto the beach commenting on how aggressive they look’.

Cornwall Council, which owns 57 of the county’s beaches, said it ‘strongly urged visitors not to remove stones’.

A spokesman said: ‘It may seem harmless but given the many thousands of visitors to Cornwall’s beaches every stone removed could have an impact on coastal erosion, natural flood defences and wildlife habitats.’

Daily Mail.