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4th April 2012
Every year, thousands of people walk away with a souvenir pebble from Brighton's beach, but now the local tourism authority wants them back
It's no longer the waves that are a cause for concern when it comes to the eroding of Brighton's iconic beach. Thousands of pebbles are taken home as a keepsake each year and now Brighton Tourism Alliance wants them back.
Spokeswomen for the scheme Claire Ottewell said: “We say NO to sand and want to ensure Brighton’s iconic pebbly beach is around for people to enjoy for many years to come.
“We are urging all those Londoners who will be visiting Brighton over the summer to bring back a pebble and just leave it on the beach.”
Because there is very little natural input of shingle, it is hoped that the 'Bring back Brighton's pebbles' campaign will replenish the beach after the disappearance of thousands of stones over the years.
According to Claire, visitors from London are the worst for pebble pinching: “We have no problem with the Welsh or the brummies. But it is the Londoners who always to want to take a little bit of Brighton away with them. Maybe it is because Brighton is known as London by the sea.”
Technically it’s illegal to remove pebbles from Brighton beach but generally people aren't prosecuted unless they're caught taking large quantities. In 2003, the council held an amnesty, promising not to prosecute anyone who returned stones, shells or larger items to Brighton beach.
The pebbles serve an important part of the city's coastal defences by absorbing the power of waves, helping to maintain the protection of the sea wall and preventing flooding.
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