Dog Walkers,  Industry News

Somerset dog beach ban to be reintroduced

Dogs will be banned from part of Minehead beach this summer after councillors approved a proposal to re-implement a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) for dog fouling.

However, unlike the previous PSPO which expired in 2019, dogs will only be banned from part of the beach, which runs from Minehead Golf Club Groyne to the Jubilee café, between May and September.

The harbour area will remain free for people to walk their dogs.

The decision comes in response to a consultation launched by Somerset Council last year, which asked residents whether the orders that expired in 2019 should be reinstated for three more years.

The consultation found that 57% of respondents said that they would visit the beach a lot less often or a bit less often if no dog restrictions were in place, with only 32% stating they would visit more often.

In addition, 66% of responders to the consultation said they would be favour of keeping the previous restrictions of a complete ban of dogs from the beach.

Meanwhile, 60% said they would prefer the ban to be in effect only between Minehead Golf Club Groyne to the Jubilee café.

Councillors also decided to reinstate a Blenheim Gardens dog ban after more than 70% of survey respondents supported it.

Although not initially considered, the Millennium Rose Garden, Minehead, was also added to the sites where a complete dog ban will be enforced.

Councillors also agreed to an order that dogs must be kept on a lead in:

  • Lower Parks Walk, Minehead, between Parkhouse Road and Periton Lane entrances;
  • The Esplanade, Minehead seafront;
  • King George V Playing Field car park, Minehead;
  • Cross Farm Park, Alcombe;
  • Exmoor House Lawns, Dulverton;
  • Porlock Recreation Ground;
  • Porlock Churchyard and Cemetery;
  • Car park opposite the Memorial Hall, Withycombe.

A council spokesperson said: “The PSPOs should reduce anti-social behaviour caused by irresponsible dog owners by ensuring certain areas are free from dogs, dogs kept on leads, or authorised officers can request dogs are put on leads where necessary.

“In addition, it requires dog owners to pick up dog mess and dispose of it responsibly which should have a positive benefit to the overall quality of life and wellbeing of everyone.”

Fixed penalty £100 fines can be issued to anybody who breaches the PSPO and they can also be prosecuted and fined up to £1,000.

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