Decor trend sparks Pampas Grass picking at South Shields seafront
People are being asked to stop picking Pampas grass from South Shields seafront in a bid to spruce up their homes.
Pampas grass has seen a surge in popularity in recent years thanks to decor trends and people sharing their homes on Instagram, where it’s been hashtagged more than 295,000 times.
Now, South Tyneside Council has urged people not to take it from South Shields seafront where it lines the dunes, where it’s not only a beauty feature, but also a vital part of the eco-system.
The council issued a statement saying: “We have been made aware of residents picking plants and grasses including pampas grass from the seafront.
"Can we please ask residents that while it may look pretty in their homes these plants are planted specifically to protect our coastline and is important to the overall ecosystem.
"There are grasses that should not be removed as they were specifically planted to encourage the sand dunes to grow in order to protect the coastline and our assets.
"Can residents please not pick any grasses/plants along our frontage. Thank you."
Because it can be dried, Pampas Grass is a particularly popular choice in homes where it can last for years in vases without water. Florists and online retailers can charge as much as £5 per tall stem.
South Tyneside Council had more than 250,000 of the plants propagated at a nursery in Norwich and transported 250 miles to Sandhaven Beach in 2011.
The marram and lyme grasses - which can grow to 4ft (1.2m) and 8ft (2.4m) respectively - can help protect the sand dunes from erosion.