Beaches around the UK are set to become dog-free as summer restrictions come into place from May 1.
The Express reports that pet owners are being reminded to stick to the rules or face a hefty fine of £75.
The ban, which has come under scrutiny in the past, has been put in place across a number of coastal counties. Northumberland, Devon, Dorset, Somerset, Lincolnshire and Essex are only a few.
The restrictions last from May 1 to September 30. If caught, dog walkers could face a fine or further prosecution. Local councils use different powers to enforce the law, with restrictions sometimes only applying to certain beaches in the area.
Dog walkers across the UK have hit out at the new restrictions.
Ruth Oliver, who walks her golden retriever Murphy at Branksome Beach in Poole, Dorset, believes the ban is too much. “I think it’s a real shame they do a complete ban between May and September,” she told her local paper. “It’s absolutely crazy because most families don’t get down to the beach until after 10am. They should just ban dogs in the summer holidays and start it later in the day.”
While fellow dog walker, Ali Ham, said: “I think May 1 is a little early as it’s not the height of summer.”
Yet some parts of the country, people are in favour of keeping their beaches dog-free with councils backing the ban.
Marcus Jackson, local environment services team leader at North Tyneside Council, said: “Here in North Tyneside, our beaches are one of our biggest attractions, as shown by our three Blue Flags and four Seaside Awards. We have more awards for our beaches than any other area in the North East and to maintain this, we have to implement a dog ban in the summer.”
In Devon, Brian Moores, chairman of Instow Parish Council, believes it will help make the area ‘an even nicer place to be’. He said: “The beach is an amenity for everyone and this code of conduct is not just about dogs being on the beach. It’s about the whole beach management of it such as people not leaving litter, acting responsibly, and being plastic free. It’s not a ban; It’s just a form of control and restriction.”
For a full list of beaches your dog could be banned on, please contact your local council.
(Story source: The Express)