Beaches near Chichester have been temporarily closed after an unidentified ‘foam-like substance’ was found along the southern coastline.
Chichester District Council closed its East Wittering beach, and Havant Borough Council, the West Wittering Estate and Cakeham Manor took the same action.
It is believed the substance is made up mostly of caster oil (vegetable oil), which is dangerous to animals if digested.
A council spokesperson said on Tuesday (January 12): “We are closing the beach as a precaution. The unidentified foam-like substance was discovered earlier today. The Environment Agency has taken samples to test. We should know the outcome of these tests within the next 48 hours.
“Following this time, we will decide on what action to take. Local residents can keep updated by visiting our website where we will post the latest position.”
Paul Reynolds, senior environment officer at the Environment Agency, said: “Our officers are on site sampling the material to find out what it is. As yet, there has been no apparent evidence of impact on wildlife.
“Once we know what the substance is we will be able to advise on action to take and appropriate disposal options for the material.”