“Harry Potter” fans are being urged not to leave socks at the site of a memorial for the house elf Dobby at Freshwater West Beach in Pembrokeshire, Wales.
The location is where the production of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 1” shot Dobby’s death scene. In the “Harry Potter” novels, Dobby dies in Harry’s arms and tells him the beach is “such a beautiful place to be with friends.” The film team settled on the expansive Freshwater West Beach to do justice to the moment.
After “Harry Potter” fans erected a memorial for Dobby at the filming location, many more fans were inspired to visit Freshwater West Beach and leave socks at the site. The socks are a tribute to Dobby, who is freed from indentured servitude after his evil owner, Lucius Malfoy, is tricked into gifting him a sock. Dobby wears the sock until his death.
“Harry Potter” fans have left so many socks at the Dobby memorial that it started to become an environmental concern for Freshwater West Beach.
Environmental officials from the conservation charity National Trust Wales conducted an eight-month review of the site (via The New York Times) and decided to allow the memorial to stay standing, although a warning to fans has now been issued.
“The memorial to Dobby will remain at Freshwater West in the immediate term for people to enjoy,” the National Trust Wales said in a statement. “The Trust is asking visitors to only take photos when visiting the memorial to help protect the wider landscape.”
The National Trust Wales noted in its review findings 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, 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,” Jonathan Hughes, an official with National Trust Wales, added.