Visitors to Dorset beaches are being warned not to touch barrel jellyfish after an increase in sighting over the past few weeks – brought on by the mild winter.
Dorset Wildlife Trust says the jellyfish discovered at Portland and Weymouth cannot sting, but that people should still stay away from the creatures.
Jess Mead from Dorset Wildlife Trust said: “Barrel jellyfish feed on zooplankton – tiny animals floating in the water.
“Due to the warmer winter we’ve just had, the longer days with more sunlight and the added nutrients brought up from deep water by the water storms, large blooms of microscopic algae are growing.
“This algae is then food for the zooplankton which the jellyfish eat, so at the moment, conditions are just right for jellyfish to feed along the coast of Dorset.”
Visitors are urged to report sightings of barrel jellyfish to Dorset Wildlife Trust here