The first wave of Cornwall’s dog ban is fast approaching, coming into action on Easter Sunday. It’s a frustrating time for dog owners up and down the Duchy, who will no longer be welcome on many of the county’s best loved beaches. It’s not all doom and gloom though and today I want to share my thoughts on why the dog ban can be beneficial.
The dog ban is talk of the walk at the moment. Nearly everyone we meet feels sad, frustrated and confused. It takes a while to get your head around the ins and outs of the different dog bans, making daily walks a bit of a challenge. This is my second year navigating the dog ban and I feel more excited than I did last year. Woody and I had a fantastic summer and discovered so many hidden coves and beaches that are dog friendly all year!
What is the dog ban?
The ban occurs on beaches across Cornwall, with popular towns such as Falmouth and St. Ives most affected. The majority of bans start from Easter Sunday, however some come into effect as late as 1st May. The dog ban lasts the whole of summer, the peak season for tourists, ending around late September/early October.
There are three types of ban, the full, partial and restricted bans (not official names but it’s the best way to describe them!) The full ban is the most restricting, dogs aren’t welcome on the beach at all between the signposted dates. Partial bans typically last between 7am and 7pm, though times can vary. Outside those times dogs are welcome, which is ideal for early morning and evening adventures! The restricted ban allows dogs on the beach so long as they’re kept on lead at all times. There are variations within these three bans, so it’s important to do your research before you visit!
What are the Drawbacks of the Dog Ban?
If you’re thinking of hedging your bets and ignoring the dog ban (something we definitely don’t advise!) you could be faced with a £100 Fixed Penalty Notice. Failure to pay will result in prosecution and a heftier fine of up to £1,000! Obviously this is not the kind of money you’d want to pay for a dog walk, so we highly advise adhering to the ban and checking council signs before stepping foot on the beach. It may feel like all the beaches are affected by the ban, however there are plenty of places that are dog friendly all year!
Another drawback of the dog is dependant on where you live or stay in Cornwall. Some towns are more impacted than others. This means you may have to travel further to exercise your dog. The ban can also make owners feel less welcome. It’s particularly frustrating when beaches affected by the dog ban are empty, yet we’re still not allowed to use them! Woody has terrible separation anxiety AD, so leaving him at home isn’t an option. I’ve had to decline or rearrange a few social gatherings in the past, because they were organised on beaches affected by the ban.
What are the Benefits?
Woody and I are ever the optimists and prefer to see the impending dog ban as a positive. In winter, I can get quite lazy and we tend to stick to local beaches. The weather is almost always awful and the last thing I want to do is drive long distances to walk in Cornish mizzle (which often rains sideways, may I add!) I’m very grateful the bans are lifted in autumn and we’re always excited when 1st October rolls around!
In summer, I’m more eager to explore. Road trips and micro adventures are far easier when the weather is warmer and you have more light in the evenings. The dog ban forces owners to think outside the box when it comes to beaches. Fortunately, Cornwall has plenty of beaches that are dog friendly all year round. I love discovering new places and ticking off beaches from my dog friendly bucket list! If we weren’t affected by the dog ban, I’m pretty sure we’d stay closer to home and miss out on all the fun!
How do you feel about the upcoming dog ban on Cornwall’s beaches? Where are you going to miss most?
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