Photo: White deposits wash up on North Devon beaches

An example of the white substance washed up on Westward Ho! An example of the white substance washed up on Westward Ho!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013
2:32 PM

Beach users are being urged to look our for the deposits, thought to be degraded edible oil, while Maritime and Coastguard Agency search for source.

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BEACH users are being asked to look out for a white substance washing up on some local shores.

The white, waxy deposits have been spotted on Westward Ho!, Instow, Broadsands Beach near Hele and Saunton in the last few weeks.

In October similar substances were found on Cornish beaches, with laboratory testing revealing it was a non-toxic, degraded edible oil.

Councillor Rodney Cann, North Devon Council’s executive member for environment, said: “If you’re walking on the beach and come across this stuff, please let us know so that we can work with the beach owners to get it cleaned up.

“Although the Environment Agency has assured us it isn’t harmful to humans, it could be dangerous to dogs if they eat a lot of the substance.

“Therefore, dog owners are being advised to keep their pets on a lead whilst walking on affected beaches.”

To report a discovery of the white substance or any other unknown substance on the beach, please contact North Devon Council on 01271 388870 or Torridge District Council on 01237 428810.

Meanwhile, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency is continuing to look into the source of the pollution.

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