Many dog owners do not want to have their dogs on leads in this area because they want to run and exercise their dogs and young dogs and large dogs need exercise off leads. The problem for the council is the multiple use of that area coupled with the increase in dog owners using that area. As owners of the area the council has a responsibility and duty of care to manage the area for the safety and convenience of all users. As more restrictions elsewhere are introduced and many owners take their dogs on holidays with them, the problem of over use by dog walkers will increase. There are now more self-catering holiday homes in the area and also more of them now allow dogs to stay.
The council has been told of dog on dog attacks, dog on people attacks and also people on people arguements as a result of injuries to dogs and people. Dogs can be a nuisance and not everybody likes dogs. Many people and children are scared of dogs. Inconsiderate owners do not pick up after their dogs.
The foreshore is currently covered by a Public Spaces Protection Order or PSPO, which requires dog owners to clean up after their dogs and they must put them on a lead of no more than 2 metres in length, when told to do so by an authorised person. That is the basic legal framework that can be enforced by county council officers. The community council is proposing to define two areas a “dogs on leads at all times area” and a “dog exercising off the lead area”. When exercising your dog on the area beneath the castle including the car park and from the car park bridge to beneath the Boat House, your dog must be on a lead at all times and you must pick up after your dog. If you want to exercise your dog off the lead use the area between the Strand and the river leading towards the Treatment Works. Please also pick up after your dog in this area.
The council has brought in this policy to ensure that all people using this area have an enjoyable and relaxed time.