Cumberland Council is warning beach-goers that they could be fined up to £1,000 for removing pebbles or shells from beaches.

Under the UK's Coast Protection Act, it is unlawful to take any natural materials such as sand, shells and pebbles from the beach, a rule that Cumberland Council can enforce with fines of up to £1,000.

These regulations are in place to protect the natural environment and can aid in climate efforts.

To further its dedication to environmental protection, Cumberland Council is developing its first climate and nature strategy, inviting residents to take part in a brief online survey closing on May 20 at 12 noon.

The council's Executive Member for Cumberland Policy and Regulatory Services, Councillor Bob Kelly, voiced his support for the measure.

He said: "I understand people's reluctance to follow this guidance, as I have been a collector of shells myself.

"But taking a pebble or a shell from a beach can in fact damage the environment.

"Pebbles and other natural matter act as a natural sea defence against coastal erosion, natural flood defences and wildlife habitats, which many experts warn has become even more of an issue due to climate change.

"We are asking people to leave the pebbles, shells and sand as we all want to ensure that our beaches remain vibrant and intact for future generations."