Poll shows dog ban on beach is not popular

Little Shore, Amble.
Little Shore, Amble.

An online poll has shown that there is much disapproval and frustration at a controversial decision to ban dogs from a popular beach during the summer months.

Last week, the Gazette reported how Warkworth Harbour Commissioners (WHC) have imposed the restriction at Amble Little Shore, stopping pooches from going onto the stretch from May until the end of September.

The measure, which extends to the dune area, has been brought in following a constant battle against dog fouling.

Critics have branded the ban ridiculous and accused WHC of a lack of consultation and claim that responsible owners who pick up after their pooches are being made to suffer for the irresponsible few that don’t.

But WHC, who own the land, have defended the move, saying they were forced to act to make the beach safe for families to enjoy and that the duration of the ban is in line with other beaches where dogs aren’t allowed, such as Newbiggin and Blyth.

However, a poll which has been set up on the Amble Community Team – ACT Facebook group has shown that the majority of those who have responded are against the ban.

So far, 52 people have said that they are not in favour, while only 11 have said they support the restriction. A further 21 have said they would have backed a partial ban, running from 10am to 4pm, May to September.

The poll is available to sign until Sunday, June 5, by visiting Facebook and searching for Amble Community Team – ACT. The findings will be presented to WHC.

A spokeswoman for ACT said: “We appreciate that this has been imposed, but we want to see if people are in favour or against the ban. I think it is more the fact that this has been brought in without any fore warning, other than a message on Facebook. We will present the results of the survey to WHC for information.”

WHC have said that they acted in response to complaints about dog fouling along the stretch and they felt they had to do something.

They added that they hope that people will help with policing the ban. The pier area is still open to dogs.