New rules on dogs on Dorset beaches and in public spaces approved

NEW rules on dogs in Dorset’s public spaces are set to be confirmed.

The 2024 dog-related Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO), which affects the Dorset Council area, has been officially released after the council cabinet approved the document.

The dog-related PSPO for Dorset includes the following restrictions:
* Dogs banned at all times in children’s play areas, pools or sandpits, skateboard parks, tennis courts, basketball courts, bowling greens or putting greens and sports pitches
* Between May 1 and September 30, dogs are excluded from West Beach, Charmouth; East & West Beach, West Bay; Front (Town) Beach, Lyme Regis; Front Beach, Swanage; Seatown Beach, Chideock; Weymouth Central Beach from the designated dog exercise area to the groyne at Greenhill.
* Dogs to be kept on leads at all times in cemeteries, churchyards and graveyards; allotments where dogs are permitted; formal public gardens; within five metres of sports pitches; council-owned car parks; the Rodwell Trail, Weymouth; on roads and walkways close to beaches.
The routes covered include: Charmouth, Lower Sea Lane; West Bay on the Esplanade, Quay, Quayside, road, pavements and car parks off Lower Sea Lane, footpath to the beach; Lyme Regis on Marine Parade, Cart Road, Bell Cliff, harbour, slipway and sea walls; The Parade, Swanage and roads to the beach; The Promenade, Weymouth from Pleasure Beach to Bowleaze; At Studland, access to Knoll beach from the car park and staircases; Ferry Road, from Studland beach car park to the South West Coast Path end marker, Shell Beach National Trust car park and all access routes to Shell Beach.
* Between May 1 and September 30, dogs to be kept on leads on beaches known as Knoll Beach and Shell Bay Beach.

READ MORE: Proposed rules over dogs on Dorset beaches revealed
READ MORE: Have your say over rules on dogs on Dorset beaches and in public spaces

There is now a period of six weeks where the PSPO can be challenged on the grounds that the council does not have the power to make the Order or include specific requirement within the Order, or that the legislation related to PSPO has not been followed.

If there isn’t a challenge, the order will come into effect on January 1, 2024.

The order was produced after a 10-week consultation which gathered views from residents, visitors, businesses and other organisations.

A total of 4,221 responses were received, the council said, with 80% from residents, 16.5% from visitors and 2.8% from others.

Of those, 62% of responses came from dog owners, while 9.5% of respondents considered themselves as having a disability.

The rules affect people walking dogs on beaches in Dorset

The rules affect people walking dogs on beaches in Dorset

The council said a dog-related PSPO for specific beaches and open spaces aimed “to keep them free from dog fouling and safe to use by all”.

“Insisting that dogs are on leads in particular areas means that the owner has adequate control over the dog which means that they can see if the dog fouls and doesn’t cause issues with other people or dogs,” a spokesperson added.

Cllr Laura Beddow, council portfolio holder for customer and community services, said: “This has been an extensive consultation with a good cross section of people.

“I am very pleased that we have been able to implement the order according to the thoughts of most respondents.

“As the winter requirement to keep dogs on leads at Front Town Beach, Lyme Regis has now been removed, we will undertake a spring review of that aspect of the order.”

Unless amended at any stage, the PSPO will remain in place for three years.

To view the report, visit


  1. Graham Reply

    After 1900 in the tourist season most evenings the beach in swanage is empty ,why can we not let dogs unrestricted after that time .

    1. David Sllum Reply

      Because some people won’t pick up, I often see people ahead of figs with zero concern on what the fig is doing. Often also the owner is texting or phoning. I’m a dog owner by the way. I always watch my dog when off of the lead.

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