Owner wants beach ban on dogs lifted

Claire Elvin at Sutton on Sea beach
Claire Elvin wants to be allowed to walk her dog on Sutton on Sea beach throughout the year [BBC]

A dog owner is calling for a seasonal ban on dogs using popular Lincolnshire beaches to be lifted.

Between 1 May and 30 September dogs are banned from certain beaches, including those at Sutton on Sea, Skegness and Mablethorpe.

Claire Elvin, who runs a dog field and hydrotherapy business near Sutton on Sea, is calling for the ban to be lifted.

East Lindsey District Council (ELDC) said the ban is in place to "foster responsible dog ownership" and maintain a Blue Flag status for the beaches.

Signage for dog beach ban
Signage in Sutton on Sea makes clear where dogs are welcome [BBC]

Along the promenade at Sutton on Sea, signs are in place showing where dogs can and cannot go.

The prohibited area for dogs is within the main footfall area, in front of cafes and bars.

Ms Elvin, who runs Bilsby Dog Field, said the ban was "very outdated".

She said: "Dogs are part of the family. It's stopping people coming here and [it's] affecting the tourism of the local areas.

"I understand that they don't want dogs running free and causing havoc when it's busy, but there's no reason why dogs can't be on a lead."

Restrictions are in place 24 hours a day; a point Ms Elvin takes issue with.

She said: "Why can't it be up until 6pm when everybody goes off to have their dinner?

"I see no reason why it should be a complete ban."

'Seeing the bigger picture'

Not all dog owners are opposed to the ban.

Malcolm Winn, who runs Sutton Pet Supplies, said: "There are people who love dogs but there are people who are nervous of them so it's seeing the bigger picture.

"It's a very small space which has the dog ban. I'm happy to walk that bit further and let our dog run around elsewhere."

Councillor Martin Foster, portfolio holder for environmental services at East Lindsey District Council, said: "Our Public Space Protection Order, which was last renewed in 2021, is aimed at fostering responsible dog ownership and addressing anti-social behaviour caused by a minority of dog owners.

"Dog fouling poses health risks and impacts community well-being, which is why our order mandates the removal of dog waste from designated areas."

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