Instow Beach dog row resolved

Dog walkers gathered on Instow Beach to protest when it was feared the parish council might introduc

Dog walkers gathered on Instow Beach to protest when it was feared the parish council might introduce restrictions. - Credit: Archant

All users of the beach asked to keep to voluntary code and adopt a common sense approach.

Instow Beach.

Instow Beach. - Credit: Archant

DOG walkers will be among those asked to abide by a voluntary ‘common sense’ code of conduct when taking their pets on to Instow Beach.

The decision on Thursday night follows a January consultation by Instow Parish Council over whether to restrict dogs on the beach as well as beach cleaning.

There was uproar from dog walkers in January when the council suggested dogs might be barred from parts of the beach during summer months.

But now it plans to devise a code of conduct for all so the beach can be shared, based on the slogan ‘Instow Welcomes Responsible Beach Users’.

For example owners would be asked to keep dogs under control ‘while mingling with purely recreational beach users, especially those with young children’.

The council says there is a vast amount of beach to use, especially at low tide, plus the area in front of the dunes and near the cricket club.

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The consultation also asked people their views on the cleanliness of the beach, before the council puts the new cleaning contract out for tender shortly.

It leases part of the beach from the Crown Estate, the rest belongs to Christie Estates but the council said as a responsible local authority it had a duty to clean the entire beach from the Quay to the Cricket Club and including the dunes.

More than 100 people attended the consultation event and 152 comments were received.

“We do not believe it is too much to ask sensible people to adopt a common sense approach when using the beach and take on board, especially if they are dog owners, the realisation not all their fellow beach users are dog lovers,” said council chairman, Councillor Brian Moores.

“The council will do all it can to publicise this voluntary initiative by way of signage and the like, although it believes word of mouth will be the most effective way.”

Parish clerk Roger Jacob added: “It is also sincerely hoped it will now be apparent IPC never had any intention to inflict draconian measures on dogs and their owners, but had to come up with a workable and conciliatory solution to counteract a view by a sizeable group of parishioners who felt the dog situation was getting out of hand.”

Wendy Hilling, who often takes her assistance dog Teddy to Instow, said at least common sense had prevailed, but added: “They said they didn’t have the money to employ someone, so why waste all that time and money on something they had no way of enforcing?”

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