People are picking a type of grass from a beach in the North East after a boom in its popularity on social media.
Pampas grass, which is increasingly popular among interior designers, grows wild near Littlehaven Beach in South Shields.
It forms part of a natural defence to stop sand blowing onto coastal roads and helps protect the coastline.
But locals say people are arriving in their “droves” to remove the grass, since it can cost up to £40 per bunch in some shops.
Tyneside Council has now warned that anyone caught taking pampas grass could be prosecuted.
One councillor in the region warned that people were "damaging the environment" with their actions.
"Pampas grass is quite expensive to buy if you went to a florist. It's cheaper to come to South Tyneside and take it away," councillor Ernest Gibson told BBC News.
"But what we are doing is urging people not to come here and take it away, it's there for a reason."
"Through COVID, we have a massive amount of people coming to the coastal town, it's Benidorm without the sunshine," he added.
"It's great to see people at the seaside enjoying it [the grass] and that's what it's part of. It's there for everybody to view."
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The popularity of pampas grass has been fuelled by social media with several interior design accounts raving about its properties.
Instagram accounts such as The Pampas Collection and Pretty Pampas UK have amassed over 85,000 followers between them.
Both accounts post pictures showing the rare plant being used in various settings within the average domestic home.
Lifestyle magazine Good Housekeeping UK also posted a picture of a Christmas tree fashioned from pampas grass on Instagram back in December, which received over 1,000 likes.
While another lifestyle publication, Country Living, described the use of pampas grass as “the biggest interior design trend for spring 2018”.
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