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The cost of collecting vraic from the beach means it just piles up

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A CHANGE in farming practices is causing problems with seaweed left on the shoreline, according to a member of the RSPB.

A CHANGE in farming practices is causing problems with seaweed left on the shoreline, according to a member of the RSPB.

Committee member Chris Mourant said there had been a sharp rise in the amount of vraic on Guernsey beaches.

'I believe it has been getting worse since farmers stopped collecting it. It is a really good commodity which could be used.'

Farmers used to put seaweed on fields because it is a natural, organic fertiliser. But the practice has been phased out over the last century.

On some beaches, the Environment Department has been piling up the vraic on the shoreline to clear the sand for beach users.

But Mr Mourant agreed with La Societe Guernesiaise conservation officer Jamie Hooper that piling it up was not a solution.

'Birds can't get to it if it is all tangled up. Also fresh seaweed is brought in every day. If the seaweed is washed off L'Eree it will just wash up somewhere else.'

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