FOULING: Culprits in the minority

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It was with some astonishment that I read the letter from Peter Beard regarding the nuisance of dogs on Blyth beach, (News Post Leader, October 12).

I have walked on the beach almost every day all year round for the best part of 40 years, with and without a dog, and have rarely seen any dog fouling without the owner cleaning up afterwards, or evidence of dog dirt.

I have also never been pestered by out of control dogs.

The sand dunes and promenade are, in my opinion, the areas where dog fouling, the leaving of bagged dog dirt and litter are a regular problem. These are zones where there is the need for the enforcement of responsible behaviour, not just the beach.

I am quite confident that if a survey of the usage of Blyth beach was to be undertaken, it would reveal that dog walkers are by far the greatest and most regular visitors, and on most days, particularly in poorer weather, the only people on the beach.

Since the seasonal dog ban was introduced the beach is frequently entirely deserted, only coming to life on the odd warm day when it becomes populated by droves of litter-dropping folk, as reflected in a letter on the subject also published on October 12.

Am I to understand that dog waste is somehow any the less acceptable than an unwrapped and discarded dirty nappy?

I cannot understand why anyone should decide that responsible citizens should be penalised and excluded in any way, and this includes dog walkers.

The beach and surrounding areas unfortunately are misused by many and, in my opinion, there should not be a blanket exclusion of any kind.

In reality, litter is causing far more damage to the beach environment than dog fouling.

Mr Beard should take heed to recognise that there are irresponsible beach users with and without dogs.

Better to identify, exclude and penalise the guilty few than the innocent majority.

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