Embleton Beach in Northumberland

Beaches re-open after palm oil cleared away

Beaches in Northumberland which were closed over the weekend after an unknown substance was washed up have re-opened. 

Newton and Embleton beaches were closed after reports of a substance, believed to be palm oil, was found on the beach. 

Cabinet Member for Looking After Our Communities Councillor Gordon Stewart said: “We had staff out on Sunday in response to the initial reports and again this morning to revisit those beaches in case any more had washed up. We have also responded to reports of some deposits at the southern end of Beadnell Bay and Football Hole Beach. 

“And while Council teams have now removed the oil, dog owners should remain vigilant as there may be more washed up in the coming days.” 

Palm oil can get into the marine environment when it is legally released at sea by ships when vessels wash out their tanks. 

The resulting substances are often mixed with other chemicals such as diesel, making it extremely harmful if ingested. 

Washed up onto the beach, palm oil is white or yellow and waxy in appearance and can range in a variety of sizes from pebble sized, semi-solid lumps to larger blocks and can smell unpleasant. 

Cllr Stewart added: “Dog owners should be cautious when walking their pets on the beach. If they suspect their dog has eaten any of the substance they should consider taking it to the vets immediately.” 

If anyone spots any palm oil washed up on a beach they should report it via the council website (as littering>other) using our Fix My Street feature and the GPS on their phone and we'll arrange with the appropriate landowner for its removal. 

Alternatively people can call 0345 600 6400 and ideally have an app like what3words to help staff pinpoint the location of the pollution. 

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