Harry Potter: Could Dobby's grave be moved from Freshwater West?

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Media caption,
A tribute to an elf named Dobby sits above National Trust-run Freshwater West beach

He is one of the most beloved characters in Harry Potter books and films, but could the "resting place" of Dobby the House Elf be removed?

A grave paying tribute to Dobby sits above Freshwater West beach in Pembrokeshire, where the character's death was filmed.

Now, a survey commissioned by National Trust has asked for opinions on whether the grave should stay or go.

National Trust Wales said the area had come under more pressure recently.

Image source, Alamy/Warner Bros
Image caption,
Dobby was one of the most popular characters in the Harry Potter franchise

The survey asks 30 questions about Freshwater West, which is managed by National Trust, including some about traffic, parking and toilet facilities in the area.

It also asks two questions about Dobby's grave, asking whether it should be removed or transferred to a "suitable publicly accessible location off-site".

The grave mainly consists of pebbles with messages to the house elf, portrayed by Toby Jones in the film series, but socks are also said to be left at the site.

In the franchise, house elves are only freed from servitude if they are given clothes.

In the second instalment, the Chamber of Secrets, Harry Potter ensures Dobby is given a sock by his owners, the Malfoy family.

Image source, David Mark Jones
Image caption,
Stones and socks are piled up at Freshwater West in tribute to Dobby

Victoria MacLean, a Harry Potter fan from Neath, told BBC Radio Wales Breakfast there should be a compromise as to what is left at the grave, but said another tribute would soon be constructed there if it was moved.

She said: "Leaving a fresh sock is lovely but after a while that sock probably gets covered in all sorts and I can understand the socks.

"But the pebbles, some people have gone to great lengths to paint some of those pebbles, just to leave something in memorial to one of their favourite characters and it is so beautiful to see.

Image caption,
A grave to Dobby overlooks Freshwater West beach in Pembrokeshire

"I think if they took the grave away fans are just going to build another one, because there's millions of them," she added.

"There needs to be something that will please the fans yet keep the beach looking beautiful because it is a stunning beach."

The survey is open until 31 May.

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Toby Jones voiced Dobby in several Harry Potter films

National Trust Wales said: "Over the past few years we have seen an increase in visitors wanting to experience all that Freshwater West has to offer, including its beautiful beach."

"We love welcoming people to the site, but the increase in numbers does mean its facilities and infrastructure are under even more pressure. We want visitors to have an enjoyable, safe experience while ensuring this special landscape is looked after for future generations.

"A survey is now under way to help us understand the issues in more depth and to consider options for a sustainable future for Freshwater West, which includes the memorial to Dobby.

"One of options we're seeking feedback on in the survey is to relocate the memorial to a suitable publicly accessible location."

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