Palm oil found at Dovercourt beach as walkers warned to keep dogs on leads

Members of Tendring District Council have been busy clearing reports of palm oil from its beaches. 

Members of Tendring District Council have been busy clearing reports of palm oil from its beaches. - Credit: Tendring District Council

Further lumps of palm oil have been discovered on beaches in the north of Essex just a few days after the toxic substance washed up in Felixstowe.

Dog walkers are being urged to keep dogs on leads in the Dovercourt area and Earlham’s Beach after large amounts of palm oil - which looks like a white, waxy substance - was found by members of the public. 

The discovery comes just days after the toxic substance was found at Felixstowe beach on Monday and a warning was issued to dog walkers. 

Large amounts of palm oil have washed up on Felixstowe beach.

Large amounts of palm oil have washed up on Felixstowe beach. - Credit: Felixstowe Coastguard Rescue Team

There may also be further pieces across the east coast, as is usual and natural after a period of strong Easterly winds and high tides as brought by Storm Darcy last week. 

Will Lodge, communications manager at Tendring District Council, said: “Tendring District Council became aware of reports of some palm oil washing up along sections of our district's coastline.

“We identified a large quantity of this and have been clearing this as and when the tidal conditions allow us to do so - it is in a relatively remote location, and is a heavy material which needs careful handling to remove safely.

“In the meantime we would advise dog owners to keep a close eye on their pets, and consider keeping them on leads on beaches, particularly if they are prone to sniffing or eating what they find as many dogs are.

“Palm oil is not hazardous to humans but can be toxic to dogs.”

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East Suffolk Council warned its residents on Monday to keep dogs on a lead to prevent them from eating anything found on the beach. 

A spokesman said: "If you live near the beach and plan to walk your dog there as part of your exercise, please keep your dog on a lead to prevent them from eating anything found on the beach."

Dog owners are also reminded to take precautions after recent strong winds led to marine fauna being washed up along the Suffolk and Norfolk coastline.

Some stranded species, in particular starfish, may contain paralytic shellfish toxins that could be harmful to humans and dogs if consumed.

The coastguard has advised anyone who believes they have seen the palm oil on the beach to report it to them, where disposal will be arranged as quickly as possible.

To do this, call 999 and ask for the coastguard, who can arrange quick and safe disposal. 

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