A dog ban on parts of Westward Ho! beach has come into force as the summer season approaches. Dogs are banned from the main beach and rock pool areas until the end of September to comply with conditions attached to its prestigious Blue Flag status. The

A dog ban on parts of Westward Ho! beach has come into force as the summer season approaches.Dogs are banned from the main beach and rock pool areas until the end of September to comply with conditions attached to its prestigious Blue Flag status.The Westward Ho! Beach Byelaws do, however, permit dogs on the beach to the north of the bridge over the pebbleridge at Sandymere. The designated areas are shown on the notices by the slipway access to the beach and by the Sandymere access.Peter Snart-Smith, environmental protection co-manager for Torridge District Council, said: "In previous years, compliance with the summer dog ban on the beach has been pretty good, but some dog walkers have needed a reminder. Council staff will be stepping up patrols on the beach in the coming weeks, and this will include early mornings, evenings and weekends."Anyone ignoring the byelaws will be given some friendly advice, and for the very few persistent offenders, evidence will be taken for possible subsequent legal action.It remains an offence to fail to clear up after your dog in virtually all public areas and while the vast majority of dog walkers act responsibly, a few persist in leaving their dog's waste behind for others to step in or clean up. Mr. Snart-Smith said: "This is also a potential health risk, especially to children. To improve the cleanliness of our streets, parks and open spaces the council has assigned additional enforcement officers to fouling patrols. Offenders may be issued with a £50 Fixed Penalty Notice or may even be prosecuted in the magistrates court."Complaints from the public about dog fouling are also investigated. If a member of the public has witnessed an offence and can name the dog walker, then the Environmental Protection team can follow this up. For further advice and more information, contact the Environmental Protection team on 01237 428810.