After a public consultation, Cornwall Council has announced that regulations for dogs on beaches in Cornwall will be simplified and harmonised from April.

Rob Nolan, cabinet member for neighbourhoods and public protection, has decided that restrictions will be in place only in July and August, except on beaches with Blue Flag status, where they will apply for four and a half months. Adding one hour in the evenings, until 6pm, will match most lifeguard hours.

These new restrictions will apply to 41 beaches, and will stay in place for three years unless reviewed.

Rob Nolan considered the recommendation of the Neighbourhoods Overview and Scrutiny Committee (NOSC), and has closely examined the response to the Council’s largest ever consultation response. He said he had also borne in mind all the factors that have to be considered when making a decision to introduce a Public Spaces Protection Order.

The two-month restriction reflects the views of the majority (69%) of those who responded to the consultation. It takes into account the responses to the consultation and the recommendations made by NOSC. Cllr Nolan has made the decision under delegated powers. Throughout the consultation there were strong arguments for and against reducing seasonal restrictions. On balance, the arguments for reducing seasonal restrictions were more compelling, he said.

‘I’m sure with common sense and mutual respect we can allow everyone to accept differing viewpoints’

Cllr Nolan said: “I must thank everyone who took the time to take part in this consultation, from Cornwall and beyond, both dog-owners and non dog-owners. We are a listening council, and this was the council’s largest-ever consultation response, with over 13,128 replies, 78% from residents and 19% from visitors.”

He added: “With clarity for everyone, tourist accommodation providers can let their guests know when and where their dogs are welcome — good for Cornwall’s economy and good for residents. We will be monitoring whether dog owners honour these relaxed restrictions by cleaning up after their pets, and keeping them under control.

“I’m sure with common sense and mutual respect we can allow everyone to accept differing viewpoints, and all enjoy the beaches.”

New signs will be created underlining the responsibilities of dog owners. Council officers will monitor the effect of these changes, and it is proposed that a review take place following the 2020 summer period in order to assess their impact.

A new ‘We are watching you’ poster and online campaign to counter dog-fouling is already under way, and will have an extra boost next week. This will give information on reporting dog-related issues to Cornwall Council.