Let’s keep Cobb beach for the kids

dog on beachHOW ironic that this week we get more hot air from activist dog owners in LymeOnline (January 21 2022), in the same edition as you publish details of aggressive behaviour from nasty dog owners against council officials.

I note that dog owning households are about one in four of all UK households. Is it not time, therefore, for the voice of the silent majority to be heard at least equally, maybe three times more often?

Well, at least once would be good, so here is my view.

There is always a problem for silent majorities. We are, by definition, reluctant to be as noisy and bullying as minority interest groups are.

I like dogs, I get on with well with them. I prefer cats but I like all animals. It is the humans that are sometimes the problem.

Maybe other minority interests could use the small sandy beach we have in Lyme Regis. Cyclists doing wheelies on the sand? Sea bathing for horses could be good. Aquatic Morris dancing perhaps?

OK, I will stop before I get too silly, but a bit of humour is needed to counteract the whining tone we are getting from dog-act.

Dog owners have to take their place alongside other interests, not override them. Some places are simply less suited to dog access than others – or other people have a better claim to a limited resource. Cobb sandy beach is such a case.

It seems to me that our small sandy beach is best suited to families with small children, to do what children have always loved to do.

I don’t think they should have to consider the presence of other people’s dogs, and their urine all over the sand ­– plus the traces of faeces that get left behind.

Dogs on leads do have access to our small beach – a dog off the lead is always a risk to others one way or another in a confined area. I feel the regulations that have been set are fair as can be to all.

My view is that dogs should be excluded from this beach for the sake of small children. I have dog-owning friends who agree with me. We reluctantly accept the compromise.

There are hundreds of acres of land around West Dorset where dogs can be exercised. If the sea is a must, and you cannot manage some steps or pebbles, then please stay in Weymouth where you have a vast, flat sandy beach with flat car parking close by. Our shopkeepers will not miss you.

Lyme does, in fact, have two long, wild and partly sandy beaches to the east and the west of the town. These are great for dog exercising – I see them every week having a great time running free. These beaches are in fact nearer to the main car parks on Charmouth Road and Monmouth Beach.

Another silent majority – of dog owning families who don’t whine on or bully anybody – try to get on with life without expecting everyone else to give way to them. Could it now be time to show some respect for the majority, and maybe some much needed goodwill all round in these trying times?

Let us agree to keep Cobb beach for the kiddies.

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