A dog owner has warned of suspected palm oil washed up on St Helens beach.

Emma Souter found a large lump of it and has reported it to the authorities.

She said: "While walking on the beach just before high tide, with my son and dogs; a lump of white stuff, resembling chalk but moving more buoyantly, was being washed up.

"I pulled it out the water to examine it. It felt waxy, was sedimentary and had a nasty smell. I looked it up online and found similar stories if these lumps washing up on coastlines. 

"One of my dog ran straight over and licked it. 

"My concern is that if these palm oil/fat berg things are being washed up on our beaches, that people need to be aware.

"It could easily be mistaken as chalk by someone who isn't familiar with such things and is certainly a danger to dogs, who for some reason seem to think its yummy."

Palm oil can be highly toxic and very dangerous to dogs. If you think your dog may have eaten palm oil, call your vets as soon as possible.

If you spot palm oil on a beach, inform HM Coastguard.