Source: Mirror (Extract)
Posted: May 04, 2024

Dog walkers have been warned they could face fines of up to £1,000 this summer.

An environmental enforcement expert from Kingdom Local Authority Support (LAS) has cautioned dog owners that they risk hefty penalties if they walk their dogs in certain areas. As we approach the summer months, more councils are implementing Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) to combat the increase in dog fouling in public spaces and prevent dog owners from taking their pets to some beaches.

Unsuspecting holidaymakers who aren’t familiar with the local dog control laws could be hit with a substantial fine. Areas enforcing these bans include Norfolk, Sussex, Devon and Cornwall. Restrictions on where dogs can be walked are in place across beaches and promenades, with potential fines of up to £1,000 for non-compliance. These measures are often implemented to protect local wildlife, but can cause confusion for unaware staycationers.

John Roberts, director of service at Kingdom Local Authority Support, which assists councils in tackling littering, fly-tipping and environmental crimes nationwide, advises holidaymakers to thoroughly check the rules before taking their dogs out for a stroll, reports Bristol Live.

John, a local resident, expressed his views on the matter: “Ultimately, none of us want to stand in dog mess when we are out for a stroll, so these rules help all of us. It is important for people to know that, whilst they may be used to walking their dog in any public space they want, lots of councils have PSPOs in place over the summer months which limit where holidaymakers should walk their dogs.

“Whilst many councils have restrictions on dog walking all year round, seaside areas that see an influx of summer tourists are more likely to have heavy fines for people who walk their dogs in the wrong place. Restrictions can be down to a number of reasons, whether that’s the result of the actions of a few irresponsible dog owners, to protect local wildlife, preserve the quality of green spaces, or to allow people to enjoy dog free areas of the beaches if they choose.”

He concluded by saying: “Restrictions on the number of dogs that someone can walk at one time will also be in place this is down to public and individual protection and to ensure everyone with a dog is being a responsible, caring owner when out in public. But whatever the reason, it is up to the dog owner to know the rules in place, especially in the summer months.”

John, a dog owner himself, suggests several measures to avoid getting fined. These include familiarising oneself with the council website rules on dog walking before visiting places, being mindful of signs in parks, beaches and play areas, and cooperating with environmental enforcement if they indicate that your dog needs to be leashed or walked in a different area.

He emphasises that environmental enforcement teams are not just there to enforce but also to educate. They are ready to assist if you come across a sign you’re unsure about and need clarification on where you can walk your dog.