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Potter-Heads Are Flocking to English Beach to Protect the “Grave” of Dobby the House Elf

There’s been a battle for the area, apparently.

In news that would make Dumbledore proud, Harry Potter fans all over the world are cheering after winning the battle to keep commemorating a beloved character on a beach in Pembrokeshire, Wales.

The news spread everywhere online, including Twitter. Where several people were cheering that they still would get to say goodbye to fan favorite, Dobby. 

"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," a tweet from the @PopCrave account back on November 2 reads.

You might recognize the beach as the place where (spoiler!) Dobby is buried in the seventh Harry Potter film, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1. But few people probably realized it was a real place. In fact according to the New York Times, every year thousands of people make the trek to say goodbye to their favorite fictional elf. They often leave something at his gravesite, like a sock — a token of freedom in the books, like the one that Harry Potter gives to Dobby to free him from being under Lucious Malfoy's control. Other people leave painted rocks which read: "Here lies Dobby, a free elf" — a tragic line from the books. 

Of course, the gestures have the purest intentions. But local officials grew concerned that the gifts were bad for the environment and launched an eight month investigation back in March to determine whether the monument should be torn down. Thankfully that hasn't come to pass, as the National Trust Wales, a conservation charity that conducted the assessment, has finally determined that the memorial can stay. 

“The memorial to Dobby will remain at Freshwater West in the immediate term for people to enjoy,” the National Trust Wales wrote in their assessment on October 31, 2022. But added that in the future, guests should probably leave all socks at home. “The Trust is asking visitors to only take photos when visiting the memorial to help protect the wider landscape,” they added. 

The organization continued 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," Jonathan Hughes, an official with National Trust Wales said in the statement. "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,” he explained. 

So again while it might be tempting to leave a keepsake, it's in everyone's best interest to leave the beach undisturbed.