A lack of signs warning dog owners their pets are not allowed on the beach has been slammed – both by unwitting walkers slapped with fines and residents who want pooch-free pebbles.
A number of dog walkers have been fined by environmental enforcement officers despite protests that the signage is inadequate.
And in Hove, residents say most of the signs which were up last year haven’t been put up again this year – leading to lots of dogs on the beach which shouldn’t be there.
One dog owner who was fined is Adam Myall, who visited with his dog Baxter from their home in Surrey on May 1.
He said there were no signs at all on the route he took to the beach by the artist’s quarter, and they had only walked 10m onto the shingle before they were approached and given a fine.
He said: “I understand there are rules and they need to be implemented. But I just didn’t know because there’s no clear signage. I live in Surrey and went there for an afternoon.
“They could have just said you are not allowed on there and we would have left. It was really unsettling and it ruined the day out.”
Sadly, just a few days later Baxter unexpected died of an undiagnosed heart condition, so Adam’s final day out with him is of being issued the £80 fine.
Other dog walkers say that Brighton and Hove City Council’s officers were waiting for dog owners near the Volks Aquarium Station and fining them – but on a stretch of the beach with unclear signing.
It’s also not clear from the council website where the zone starts, as the zone marked out on the map starts at a different point to the description underneath.
In Hove, David Vincent, who lives off King’s Esplanade, said: “There is one small sign up. Normally the seafront office puts up a lot more.
“We have spoke with them and their office but they have still not put up any and all we get is excuses.
“Meanwhile, we have so many dogs on the beach here all the time, pooping and their owners are not cleaning it up.
“There used to be permanent signs up but these got ripped of in storms. Then from May to September they put up large white signs, which also warned about bbqs.”
However, a council spokesman said the signage this year is the same as before, and advised people to check the website for details of where the dog free beaches are.
He said: “Our signage relating to dog free beaches is the same this year as in previous years.
“Our lifeguards start work for the season on 27 May. They are able to put temporary signs on the beaches they patrol on the basis that they can be taken back in at the end of the day.
“Unfortunately, our experience is that leaving temporary signs out often results in them being either vandalised or removed.
“We want everyone – including dog walkers and their dogs – to be able to enjoy our seafront.
“Many residents and visitors feel uncomfortable with dogs on beaches because of possible dog mess and also when dogs are let off leads.
“Detailed information is available on our website relating to taking dogs onto our beaches.
“On a number of beaches outside the city centre there are no restrictions.
“But we would urge all dog owners to check in advance before taking their dogs on beaches, particularly outside the winter months.”
The city’s environmental enforcement officers have previously come under fire for pursuing what some say are soft targets, such as smokers discarding cigarette butts or sole traders putting cardboard from home businesses in residential recycling bins.
In July 2021, a woman successfully overturned a fine issued before she and her dog had walked into Norfolk Square, because of poor signage.
If there isn’t a sign, you can’t be fined. People should refuse to give details until they see a sign
Agree, given there is nothing to show you are in breach of anything i would assume asking for details could be taken as an invasion of privacy, whats to stop someone making a name uo if they dont have id on them? these people are not police… Bet they would not dare challenge a homeless person with their dog on the beach…
There are signs, people ignore them
You should assume all beaches are not dog friendly and check to see which are… Which in sure most dog owners would assume. Beaches don’t have dog free zones, they have dog friendly zones.
Lol, actually the opposite, since when have beaches been non dog friendly? From childhood dogs were always allowed, seems like a new thing brought up n by a few people, maybe to make money!!! If its bot clearly advertised at the site then i’d recommend getting a solicitor involved, maybe then after a few lost cases they will signpost properly, a bit like parking charges!
Completely agree. Dogs allowed on beaches unless stated otherwise…With visible signs!
I think most people in our animal loving country would assume beaches are dog friendly.
Bhcc following the Valley Gardens bus gate model. Inadequate signage = more fines
You are right, Charlie. All this council (officers) has ever done lately is to lurk around and fine people, notwithstanding its own inadequacies, which are massive – and totally pathetic.
This is not about individual issues, such as busgate and dogs on beaches but a council (petty officers) gone mad and allowed to do it because of inadequate and sensible control. All of these people, whoever they are, could be diverted to doing something really useful or done away with entirely.
It is fair to say that the ‘no dogs rule’ for May to September has been around for years.
There are signs by volks railway pier end that state from the 1st May dog’s are not allowed on the beach i will take pictures if anyone needs them
Why is Brighton & Hove officially considered a CITY OF SANCTUARY for illegal immigrants and refugees but bans and punishes its own residents for owning dogs and using the public spaces which they pay for?!?
Sure. When I stop being begged for money multiple times a day by the same drug addicts roaming the streets and defecating on them and dealing on them and getting off their **** then yeah, me and other dog owners will pay attention.
Because they poo and wee all over where children want to play and relax. Take your filthy dog to the park.
The trouble is one cannot sit or lie on the grass in our parks, thanks to the dog’s mess everywhere.
As for lack of signs, this is Brighton and Hove, with a council that has gone out of its way, by any devious means, to make a profit from unsuspecting visitors. It will be interesting to see if Labour, now being in control, will make any difference.
Clearly you are too young or your memory has failed you, as to how all streets and any green spaces were like in the 70’s and 80’s.
Back then, they really were covered in dog mess before owners were encouraged and made to under law, clean up after their dog.
There are still the minority of owners who do not clear up after their dogs but they are few and far between now. I’d prefer if they all did as it makes us other dog owners who do, look irresponsible.
More problematic though, is the rise in human faeces in green spaces and on the streets and the vet’s bills us dog owners have incurred because people are defecating in public spaces.
So far, it has cost us over £300 in the last 3-4 years in veterinary bills because our dog has eaten human faeces and thus ingested drugs secondhand and contracted viruses and bacteria.
If it happens again, we will personally seek legal help in order to sue the council for abdicating their duty in cleaning these spaces up.
Really? The beaches in Hove have more dogs than people, despite the signs. No officers there, but lots of poop.
Stopmoaning——my ‘filthy dog’ is cleaner than the majority of people!!! Plz do educate yourself on what makes a mammal exactly that. Excretion. Much like what is coming out of your mouth! The benefits of animals towards humans are Gods gift. Think about your adjectives; you are MEANT to be the evolved species after all! Ps, 99% of dog owners clean up after themselves. I litter pick regularly from the beach, without having to wear a high vis/pat on the back wear. Pres do tell, how do you improve OUR environment? I’ve never picked up a bin liner full of dog waste, only human waste. Direct your hatred toward a more worthy cohort