The Kennel Club has proposed amendments to the forthcoming Marine & CoastalAccess Bill in orderto ensure that England’s beaches remain open for dogs.
Since the introduction of dog control orders in the CleanNeighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005, many local authorities havecontinued to ban dogs and their owners from walking on their beachesduring the summer months.
Of the approximately 90 local authorities with coastline under theirjurisdiction, at least 60 have already banned dogs from some part oftheir beaches during the summer months, or in some cases all year round.
According to the Kennel Club, its proposed amendments to the Marine & Coastal Access Bill – due to come before the House of Commons shortly – aim to ensure that England’s beaches remain open for dogs. The Bill will create a walking route around the entire English coastline, which the Kennel Club believes should be open to everyone, including responsible dog owners.
Kennel Club communications director Caroline Kisko said: “The Kennel Club is deeply concerned that large swathes of the coastline could simply be made off limits to the dog-owning public if dog control orders are enforced on the land. The Bill already requires Natural England to identify all areas where restrictions are needed and we are confident that this is the best approach. We don’t want local councils subsequently undermining this important work.
“We know that dog ownership has real benefits for people’s mental and physical health, and that having a suitable public place nearby is the most important factor for owners in deciding where to walk their dogs. It would be a real shame if beaches were to become no-go areas for responsible owners and their dogs.”
Dog owners are being encouraged to join the Kennel Club campaign by asking their local MP to support the amendments when the Bill is debated in the House of Commons. Further information and campaign materials are available from the Kennel Club’s website .
The Kennel Club is also urging the public to write to their local MP asking them to support Early Day Motion 1126: ‘ Coastal Access for Dog Walkers ‘, which has been laid down by Ian Cawsey MP.