From the 1st of May to the 30th of September Torridge District Council will once again be introducing a restriction for dogs on sections of Westward Ho! beach and the promenade.
The restriction helps create different usage areas on the beach to ensure that different groups engaged in different activities can all safely access and enjoy this popular resort. It also helps the authority to meet the criteria for the annually assessed Blue Flag Award, which is highly prized and important to bathers and the local tourist industry.
The restricted area will be the same as in previous years, and dogs will be allowed at the north end of the beach between Sandymere Bridge and the Taw/Torridge estuary. Dogs will be prohibited to the south of Sandymere Bridge and will need to be kept on a lead on the promenade. The order allows for fixed penalties of £100 to be issued in cases where owners fail to comply with the restriction, which will be clearly laid out in signage.
In the wintertime wading birds feed and rest at the Northern end of the beach but many of these birds will have now migrated north and it is a great place to let your pets exercise without worrying about disturbing livestock or nesting birds. When the tide is in people can head out along the coast path or explore the fantastic network of footpaths between Northam and Bideford Many of these walks can be found on the South West Coast Path website. Dog walkers should be wary that there are many lambs, baby chicks and rabbits on the burrows at this time of year and even well-trained dogs may need to be kept on a lead when moving away from the beach to avoid harm to the wildlife.
Northam Burrows Lead Ranger – Mike Day said: “The dog restriction at Westward Ho! helps us to provide both dog free and dog friendly areas on the beach. Not only is this an important part of the Blue Flag criteria, it also means that dog lovers and those not so keen on man’s best friend can all enjoy this wonderful place at the same time. We recognise what an incredible place Westward Ho! is, and we want as many people as possible to enjoy it. Please help us during this busy period by observing the signs and restrictions”.