Dorset Council has announced that it’s relaxing the restrictions that prevent dogs being walked on beaches during the spring and summer months, while the coronavirus pandemic is ongoing.
Usually dogs are only allowed on the main council-run beaches during the quieter winter months in Dorset and there are legal measures contained within public spaces protection orders (PSPOs) that can see dog owners fined if they break the rules.
Now, Dorset Council has issued this statement:
“We have decided to be fair and safe for all people using the beach for their walk, so during the coronavirus (covid-19) pandemic, we will not seek to enforce the PSPOs unless there is a specific risk to public health. This is expected to be unlikely so long as dogs remain on a lead under the control of their owners.”
Dogs should remain on a lead
This means that while dog owners will not be prosecuted for taking their dog on the beach in the coming months, the dog should remain on a lead. At the moment during the winter, dogs are allowed to run on the beach without a lead.
While Swanage Main Beach is owned by Swanage Town Council, it’s Dorset Council that administers the PSPO covering the beach.
A spokesperson for Dorset Council confirmed that the PSPO will not be enforced on Swanage Main Beach during these exceptional circumstances. She said:
“It’s about being sensible and allowing everyone the space to comply with the social distancing rules. This is certainly not about encouraging people to drive to the beach to exercise their dogs.”
The council also reminded residents:
“Walking on beaches should be part of your daily exercise from your front door. You should not travel to a place to exercise.”