Beachside 'grave' site of Harry Potter's Dobby is allowed to remain

Beachside ‘grave’ site where Dobby the house elf was said to be buried in the Harry Potter series is allowed to remain despite concerns that socks and painted pebbles left in tribute could put wildlife at risk

  • The ‘grave’ of Dobby is situated on protected Freshwater West Beach, in Wales
  • A consultation had been launched over fears of its impact on the local wildlife
  • Locals branded it an ‘eyesore’ while fans said it brought kids ‘so much happiness’ 

The ‘grave’ of Harry Potter’s fictional elf character Dobby can stay on a secluded beach after it was given a last minute reprieve by the National Trust.

Thousands of tourists flock to Freshwater West Beach in Wales each year to leave tributes, including socks, to the mischievous but loyal character.

The mock grave sits above the Pembrokeshire beach where Dobby’s death was filmed, but concerns about high visitor numbers and pollution led to a survey on its possible relocation.

Some locals had branded the attraction an ‘eyesore’ and compared it to a landfill site, while fans of the show said it ‘brings happiness to so many children’, labelling ‘haters’ of the memorial as ‘killjoys’.

The National Trust had considered removing the tribute, which is constructed from hundreds of painted pebbles, stones and socks, but ultimately ruled it can remain in place on the protected beach for the time being.

Dobby was a key character in the Harry Potter films in the struggle against he-who-must-not-be-named, aka Lord Voldemort, and died at the hands of Bellatrix Lestrange after rescuing Harry and friends from Malfoy Manor in the Deathly Hallows film.

A sculpture was engraved with the words ‘Dobby is a free elf in Pembrokeshire’ at the spot, however it became the subject of a consultation due to the high number of visitors flocking to Freshwater West Beach to see the ‘grave’.

The ‘grave’ of Harry Potter’s fictional elf character Dobby (pictured) can stay on a secluded beach after it was given a last minute reprieve

The sheer quantity of painted socks and pebbles left in tribute by fans was of particular concern due to the potential harm to local wildlife

Thousands of tourists flock to Freshwater West Beach in Wales each year to leave tributes including socks to the mischievous but loyal character. Pictured: Shell cottage which sits in front of Dobby’s ‘grave’ 

The mock grave sits above the Pembrokeshire beach where Dobby’s death was filmed, but concerns about high visitor numbers and pollution led to a survey on its possible relocation (Pictured: Dobby in a scene from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1)

Ron Weasley, played by Rupert Grint, and Hermione Granger, played by Emma Watson, film the ‘burial of Dobby’ in a scene for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 

The sheer quantity of painted socks and pebbles left in tribute by fans was of particular concern due to the potential harm to local wildlife.

National Trust Wales, which ran the consultation and manages the beach, said: ‘Items like socks, trinkets, and paint chips from painted pebbles could enter the marine environment and food chain putting wildlife at risk.

‘But, based on the consultation results, the memorial to Dobby will remain at Freshwater West in the immediate term for people to enjoy.’

The National trust has, however, asked people to protect the area and not leave any more items at the memorial.

The consultation survey asked 30 questions ranging in subjects from parking, toilet facilities and traffic.

Harry Potter Superfan and influencer, Victoria Maclean, said: ‘I’m absolutely relieved by the National Trust’s decision to keep this memorial in place.

‘It brings so much joy to people across the world.’

The beach lies in a conservation area home to rare ground-nesting-birds, lizards, orchids and large grey seals.

Socks have been a long-popular tribute by fans because of their significance in the Harry Potter storyline but the sheer number of them left on the beach became a focal point of the consultation.

In the franchise, house elves would be freed from servitude if they were given clothes.

In the second instalment of the series, the Chamber of Secrets, Harry Potter ensures Dobby is given a sock by his owners.

Socks have been a long-popular tribute by fans because of their significance in the Harry Potter storyline but the sheer number of them left on the beach became a focal point of the consultation

Hermione Granger, played by Emma Watson, and Harry Potter, played by Daniel Radcliffe, bury Dobby in a scene from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

The survey asked 30 questions about Freshwater West including about traffic, parking and toilet facilities.

It also asked if Dobby’s grave should be removed or transferred to a ‘suitable publicly accessible location off-site’.

The consultation reads: ‘Freshwater West is much loved and over time has become increasingly popular.

‘Access to nature and the outdoors for all is vitally important but the increase in visitors has added pressure on the environment and facilities.

‘Those who care for it, enjoy it and live locally want only the best for Freshwater West.’

Outraged fans had demanded Dobby’s grave be allowed to stay.

John Hodge, from Milford Haven, built a wooden cross for the site (pictured) in 2020 after his granddaughter asked him to. He said: ‘The debate should be about the happiness Dobby’s grave brings to so many children like my granddaughter.’

A sculpture was engraved with the words ‘Dobby is a free elf in Pembrokeshire’ at the spot, however it became the subject of a consultation due to the high number of visitors flocking to Freshwater West Beach to see the ‘grave’ (Pictured: A pebble at the site reads: Here lies Dobby a free elf) 

One said: ‘Why are some people so damn miserable. People come from all over to see this and the children love it.’

John Hodge, from Milford Haven, built a wooden cross for the site in 2020 after his granddaughter asked him to.

He said: ‘The debate should be about the happiness Dobby’s grave brings to so many children like my granddaughter.

‘With all that is going on in the world a bit of make-believe is welcome. It’s a pity the council wouldn’t put up a grave marker for children to see.

‘If people complain about the untidiness why not organise a ‘Dobby grave tidy’.’

However other locals disagreed, with some strongly opposed to the site. 

Commenting on a photo of the ‘grave’ in a Facebook group called ‘Pembrokeshire – I love it’, one user said: ‘Enough is enough this has become an absolute eyesore and it’s time it was cleared away,’ while another said: ‘Just take the kids to a landfill site, it looks the same.’

Another person called those complaining ‘utter killjoys’. The fan added: ‘At least two of those painted stones are from my young children who believe in the magic and beauty of this spot.

‘It is a bit of magic for the kids. Everyone’s getting their knickers in a twist over a couple of rocks.’

Source: Read Full Article