Dog owners are being warned to be careful when walking their dogs on Formby beach due to a toxic substance being washed up.
By Charlotte Kenny
Palm oil is a vegetable oil which is used for a number of different things including shampoo, soaps and some food including chocolate. Palm oil is harmless to humans however it is very toxic to dogs. Dogs are attracted to palm oil as it smells of petrol.
Justin Matthews, a ranger for the National Trust explained: “It is not just the Sefton Coast that it effected by palm oil, most of the West Coast is including Wales, The Wirral and Columbia.”
The palm oil first appeared as large yellow lumps however most recently it has appeared as tiny balls covered in sand.
The National Trust have previously collected 2000kg of palm oil. The palm oil is stored in rubble bags and then taken to landfill. There was an idea of recycling the palm oil however it would be costly to sterilise it.
Mr Matthews also said: “Dog walkers are still able to walk their dogs on the beach however they should be sensible about it if their dog likes to eat things. This could include keeping their dog on a lead and walk them when the tide is out.”
It is understood that palm oil comes from the Maltese ship called Kimya which capsized in 1991 – killing ten of its crew, off the North Wales coast. Previous storms are believed to have relocated the wrecked ship resulting in palm oil being washed up along the Sefton Coast.