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Last Updated: Wednesday, 4 April 2007, 16:57 GMT 17:57 UK
Author to return protected stones
Ian McEwan
Mr McEwan has agreed to return the stones to Chesil Beach
Best-selling novelist Ian McEwan is to send back a handful of pebbles he admitted taking from a protected beach.

In a recent promotional interview, the author admitted taking the stones while he was researching his new novel, On Chesil Beach, in Dorset.

The area is designated a site of special scientific interest and anyone caught removing pebbles could be fined.

Mr McEwan, 58, has agreed to give his pebbles to a film crew he is working with to return to the Dorset beach.

I was not aware of having committed a crime
Ian McEwan

Mr McEwan had told BBC Radio 4's Start The Week programme that he took two handfuls of pebbles from the beach.

In a statement, Mr McEwan said: "'I was not aware of having committed a crime.

"Chesil Beach is a uniquely beautiful place and I'm delighted to return the handful of small pieces of shingle to it."

Mr McEwan is unable to return the stones in person due to other commitments but agreed to pass the shingle to the crew who are due to film on the beach, near Abbotsbury, on Thursday.

A spokeswoman for Weymouth and Portland Borough Council said: "We are most grateful to Mr McEwan for returning the pebbles.

"By doing so he highlights the responsibility we all have as individuals to protect our natural environment and heritage."

Pebble Pinching
03 Sep 04 |  Breakfast


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