Dogs will no longer be allowed on sections of Westward Ho! beach as of Wednesday (May 1).

Torridge District Council is introducing a restriction on dogs on Westward Ho! beach and promenade, from May 1-September 30.

The new Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) was passed last year following a public consultation.

It was introduced under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 and replaces the dog control order introduced by the council in 2013.

This restriction will help create different areas on Westward Ho! beach to ensure that various groups can access and enjoy this popular resort.

Dogs will be prohibited on the beach to the south of Sandymere Bridge and will need to be kept on a lead on the promenade.

They are allowed at the north end of the beach between Sandymere Bridge and the Taw/Torridge Estuary.

Anyone breaking the PSPO could be liable to receive a £100 fixed penalty.

The ban is thought to help the authority to meet the criteria for the Blue Flag in 2019, which it is hoping to achieve for the 16th year in a row.

A map showing the area of Westward Ho! beach where dogs are banned.A map showing the area of Westward Ho! beach where dogs are banned.

The restricted area will be the same as in previous years.

Signage has been designed to clearly identify restricted areas and will be introduced for start of the restriction period.

Michael Day, Northam Burrows lead ranger, sadi: “The dog restriction at Westward Ho! helps us to provide both dog free and dog friendly areas on the beach.

“Not only is this an important part of the Blue Flag criteria, it also means that dog lovers and those not so keen on man's best friend can all enjoy this wonderful place.

“We recognise what an incredible place Westward Ho! is, and we want as many people to enjoy it as possible.”