The £50,000 ‘rock’ and 6 other hidden treasures you can find beachcombing

Started by gash, April 09, 2018, 08:07:20 am

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As the weather warms up, there are few things better than a long weekend stroll on the beach.

Especially if you keep your eyes peeled for hidden treasure.

A couple from Lancashire are celebrating after a large, smelly 'rock' they discovered appeared to be 'whale vomit', or ambergris .

This is a rare ingredient in perfume making - and the couple expect to sell it for £50,000.

But it's not the only kind of treasure hidden in the sands.

So next time you're trying to get the family outdoors, here's a list of what to look out for.

The treasures you can take - and the ones to leave behind

From shells to driftwood, items washed up on the beach can be in demand from crafters, jewellers and scrap merchants.

But if you enjoy the natural habitat, think carefully about what you bring home.

We spoke to Steve Trewhella, author of The Essential Guide to Beachcombing and the Strandline.

He told us beachcombers need to distinguish between treasures that are actually natural habitats, and those that are manmade.

He said: "Glass is litter. Sea glass is broken bottles and broken fishing buoys from back in the day. Taking it is not an issue."

Picking up the odd piece of driftwood is probably OK, but Trewhalla warned against loading up a trailer.

He explained: "The problem with removing driftwood from beaches is that you are removing the habitat for other animals."

Beachcombers also need to be aware of who owns the land. While you're extremely unlikely to be prosecuted for slipping a pebble in your pocket, you're probably actually breaking the law.

"This may sound absurd," said Trewhella. "But if it was legal, and a thousand people came to the beach and took a thousand pebbles, that is a lot of pebbles. You're increasing the risk of erosion."

Andy Horton, who runs a popular beachcombing website , said: "The idea is that over-collection could decimate the natural resources and spoil the enjoyment of others."

If you find something from a wrecked ship, you should be aware that it still technically belongs to the ship's owner.

And it's completely illegal to sell the bones of marine mammals like seals, whales or dolphins.

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