Dogs banned from stretch of Hill Head Beach in Hampshire until start of April 2024

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Dogs have been banned from going on a stretch of beach until next April Credit: Google Maps

It turns out our four-legged friends aren’t as pally with birds.

That's because dogs have been banned from a stretch of south coast beach until April 1st 2024. 

Protected birds including Dunlin and Dark-bellied Brent Geese, which migrate on the beach are often disturbed by dogs, according to one local authority.

Fareham Borough Council’s restricted zone on Hill Head Beach was introduced at the start of October, from the Hill Head Sailing Club to the end of the beach huts.

The measure aims to ensure the birds can feed and rest to survive the winter before returning to their breeding grounds in the summer.

The council says dog owners can still take their pets on the walkway in front of beach huts.

When the exclusion zone was announced Executive Member for Health and Public Protection at Fareham Borough Council, Cllr Joanne Burton said, "Hill Head is so important for the conservation of birds, yet it also experiences high visitor footfall and recreational activity.

"There will always be areas where residents can walk their dogs along the coast at Hill Head, but it cannot be to the detriment of our coastal wildlife. I am delighted to be bringing in this dog exclusion zone to safeguard our coastal birds."

A council map of the exclusion zone. One applies further along the coast in the summer Credit: Fareham Borough Council

While Councillor Seán Woodward, Chairman of the Partnership for South Hampshire, the body that oversees Bird Aware, added at the time, "I am so pleased that this protected zone has been introduced to provide a safe refuge for birds.

"This section of Hill Head beach is a vital feeding spot for birds such as dunlin, which are on the red list for conservation concern.

"This new seasonal dog exclusion zone will help safeguard the future of the coastal birds which spend the winter on our shores every year, while ensuring suitable access is maintained for local residents."

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