Owners ignore Sidmouth beach dog ban

A view west along Sidmouth shoreline. Ref shs 18-16SH 0065. Picture: Simon Horn.

A view west along Sidmouth shoreline. Ref shs 18-16SH 0065. Picture: Simon Horn. - Credit: Archant

A couple have hit out at owners ignoring the dog ban on parts of Sidmouth beach.

The issue involving animals on banned areas during tourist season, between May 1 and September 30, has been ongoing for years, according to the pair, who asked not to be named. To take a dog onto the banned area is an offence, punishable by a fixed penalty notice of £80 or a fine of up to £1,000.

The couple said the current signage was not very good, meaning people did not see it or misunderstood what it meant.

They said: “Dogs are going in areas where people are swimming and families are sitting. We love dogs, but owners need to have them trained and keep them under control to stop them from defecating in front of people on the beach.”

The couple said even if owners picked up the mess, it went between the shingles and was left where children were playing.

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A district council spokeswoman said it had improved information and signage and, for the first time, had used temporary stencils at entrances. She added: “Not everyone wants to share beaches with dogs. The presence of dogs in ban areas can cause distress. We are asking dog owners and walkers to respect other beach users.”

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