Representational image of a beach Angelos Tzortzinis/AFP News

A warning over a hefty £20,000 fine has been issued to people in the UK if they break a simple rule regarding wild plants on a beach.

Removal of vegetation without permission on the beach is against the law. Despite this, there has been an increase in many incidents at Hoylake Beach at the Wirral, a metropolitan borough of Merseyside. There have been reports of vegetation being pulled or dug up and then left either on the promenade or on the beach in Wirral.

It has been reported this is being done because of an ongoing dispute regarding the management of the beach.

The local council in Wirral stopped managing the beach in 2019, allowing weeds and plants to grow quickly. However, now the council has come into place again and is working on a plan to deal with the situation. Their new rules and regulations are expected to be made public in the next few months in the hopes it will help "heal a sorely divided local population".

The Hoylake Beach is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and is hence protected, including the vegetation that grows on it. The plants there are important for various conservation reasons. So, special permission is needed before removing any of the plants. Unfortunately, the council claims that people have recently been using diggers and strimmers, as well as weed killers.

A Natural England spokesperson said in an interview: "The foreshore at Hoylake is important for a range of conservation interests including intertidal mud and sand flats, saltmarsh, sand dune and non-breeding waders and waterbirds.

"Removal of vegetation from the beach is damaging to the Site of Special Scientific Interest and can only be carried out with the right permissions."

Adding further, the spokesperson said: "Unauthorised removal of vegetation is an offence under Section 28P of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and is liable of a fine of up to £20,000".

There are several other beach-related rules across the UK. One of those is dog walking, with a lot of councils around the UK are banning dogs on their beaches as they get busier during the summer. Owners who are caught breaking the rules could risk being fined £100. So, one should check before taking their furry friend to the seaside.

Meanwhile, having a barbecue by the sea could also get a person into trouble in certain parts of the country. While it is certainly legal to have BBQs on the beach in some parts of the UK, plenty of local councils are now implementing their own rules, meaning disposable BBQs cannot be used.

This is supposedly being done to protect wildlife and to reduce littering along the coast. People caught breaching the rule could face a £100 fine.