LETTERS: New restrictions for dogs on beach

dog on beachTHE following letters were received by LymeOnline in December 2020 and January 2021 as new restrictions for dogs on the beach in Lyme Regis came into force.

AS a local resident I have been very much looking forward to the re-imposition of the rule on dogs wearing leads on the town beach in the winter.

One of the great things about living in Lyme Regis has  been the way the town council has always tried to maintain a sensible approach on the issue of dogs on the beaches.

The restriction on dogs on leads on the town beach in winter was temporarily lifted as part of the public consultation. Unfortunately this action, combined with the impact of COVID-19 out-of-town visitors, has meant that the beach is increasingly over-run with dogs to the exclusion of everyone else.

Evangelical dog-owners cite the needs of people with mental health issues and the value of exercise with dogs. But non-dog lovers also have mental health needs and require exercise.

Children and many adults find dogs running around freely on the beach, barking over-excitedly and jumping up unpredictably makes them feel anxious and intimidated.

Dogs do not always come back when called by their owners – the NFU Mutual recently commissioned a survey of 1,300 dog owners of whom one third admitted their dogs did not come back when called.

As a grandparent I do not feel comfortable taking my grandchildren to the beach at the moment for the reasons above.

And not all dog-owners are responsible. On Saturday, December 12 I was on the beach near a group of people whose dog was running unchecked on the sand about 25 metres away.

The dog squatted to go to the toilet – the group made no effort to check for or to clean up the dog mess. Instead they happily chatted about how the first thing their dog always did when they went into the local café for a coffee was to pee on the floor.

I, for one, am very much looking forward to the re-imposition of the rules on dogs only being allowed on the beach on a lead in winter so a reasonable balance between the needs of different groups can be re-established for the mutual benefit of the whole community.

Name and address supplied

DOGS on the beach should never be given priority over children, the elderly and their safety.

As a regular to the beach and Marine Parade I constantly witness out of control dogs with their owners shouting at them from a distance to come and it having very little effect.

Why is it that dog owners assume everyone is a lover of dogs? I don’t dislike dogs but when I am trying to relax on the front it’s extremely tedious to have dogs bounding up and sniffing around me constantly.

The decision by Dorset Council  has been made to allow dogs on leads on these beaches not to ban them altogether.

There are other beaches, particularly Monmouth which is very accessible for those that want to have their dogs off the lead, and many other areas in and around Lyme.

Please dog owners, have some thought and consideration for other users of this space and stop this continual campaigning and live by the rules.

Name and address supplied

AS a local resident, while I understand concerns for those loving dog  owners, I am sure like all those loving dog owners throughout the UK will manage to walk their dogs on a safe even pathway.

Lyme Regis has a small, sandy, inner town beach and it will be appreciated to be able to walk freely along the beach without fear of dogs wildly running and jumping up/by me, their owners making an assumption that all walkers want this, and can be a frightening experience (apart from the obvious mess we still seem to dodge when walking).

Mental well-being for those who enjoy to safely walk along the beach, as well as those who may have mobility issues will feel safe and more secure knowing that they will not be threatened or compromised by the above description ever happening.

The new restrictions will allow locals and visitors walking Lyme beach to enjoy a pleasurable and relaxed experience. The decision Dorset Council has made is a fair and a positive one. Thank you.

Name and address supplied

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