SCORES of jellyfish are continuing to wash up on Dorset’s beaches due to a strong inshore wind, says an environment expert.

Residents from across the county have spotted the marine creatures in areas such as Sandbanks, Hengistbury Head and Studland.

Marine photographer and environ-mental campaigner Steve Trewhella says the jellyfish are attracted by the sun shining on the water and the strong tide then brings them in, which is sad, but just part of their lives.

He said: “I haven’t seen these big barrel jellyfish in the area for 20-odd years.

“To have them in the waters is a positive sign because it means we are having a really good season for plankton, which include jellyfish.

“They are quite dense and predominantly quite heavy, but I wouldn’t advise that people pick them up, although they are harmless to humans. Instead, just leave them and they will eventually break down on the beach.”

See all the pictures of jellyfish found by readers in a gallery

Gary Pope found a jellyfish he estimated at three to four-feet-wide at Hengistbury Head.

He said: “My wife, Marina, spotted it, and called me over to look, along with my nephew, Shannon Knott, eight. It was an amazing thing to see.”

Ruth Oliver found a metre-long jellyfish while she was walking her dog, Murphy, also at Hengistbury Head yesterday morning.

She said: “I saw something that looked like a plastic bag, but as we got closer, I realised it was a jellyfish. It was huge. During our walk, we subsequently found two more, but they weren’t quite as big.”