North Devon Council has at last listened to dog walkers and members of the public and modified PSPOs banning free exercise of dogs on beaches. Below is a note by Joanne Bell, from the Dog Walkers Alliance, who has campaigned against restrictions for the past few years.
Thanks to all those who have engaged with various councils and landowners during this incredible and controversial saga for some 10 years – and more recently to those who took part in North Devon Council’s PSPO Dog Control Consultation. There is now no doubt that North Devon values what our dogs bring to society as a whole and what they mean to every individual who is lucky enough to share their life with our canine companions. We have fought hard and won the right for our beloved pals to run free and socialise on Instow Beach (and many others). We also support the signage to ask dog owners to put dogs on leads in certain sensitive areas along our Estuary to safeguard roosting/nesting birds. The results clearly showed the public do not want dogs to be constrained on leads on our Tarka Trail. I would like to thank all those who have emailed me since the decision was made; to our previous MP Nick Harvey and of course to our hero Chris Packham who gave us his support from the start. Hopefully, this has now been put to bed for all time and it’s a great relief that we can all enjoy our wonderful beaches – and just continue ‘picking up’. Sadly, we couldn’t have our celebrations on Instow Beach due to the pandemic. Nevertheless, at the appropriate time we shall be having ‘drinks all round’ at “The Quay” in Instow.