People have had their say on dog restrictions on beaches and public areas.

Dorset Council’s consultation gathered views from residents, visitors, businesses and other organisations about a dog-related public spaces protection order (PSPO) across the area.

Questions were asked about whether dogs should be kept on leads in certain areas, if dogs should be permitted into cemeteries and graveyards, public gardens and sports pitches.

There were also questions about how people felt about the restrictions on specific beaches across Dorset. These were about dogs on leads, whether the start and end dates of the restrictions should be harmonised across Dorset and whether there should be a dog exercise area.

The consultation received 8,602 responses, 83 per cent were from residents, 15 per cent from visitors and two per cent from other organisations. Of those, 64 per cent were dog owners.

In answer to should dogs be on leads on West Bay harbour and promenade, 4,384 - 67 per cent - said yes and 2,128 - 33 per cent - said no. For Marine Parade and Cart Road in Lyme Regis, as well as the footpath from Charmouth Road car park to Church Beach and associated sea wall, 4,261 - 68 per cent - said yes and 1,997 - 32 per cent - said no. In Charmouth on Lower Sea Lane, the three car parks off the lane and the footpath leading to the beach, 3,926 - 64 per cent - said dogs should be on leads and 2,185 - 36 per cent - said they shouldn’t.

Respondents also shared their views on current restrictions with 587 stating dogs should continue to be banned from east and west beaches during specified summer months, but 579 wanted the restrictions to just apply to East Beach.

In Lyme Regis, 811 people wanted dogs to continue to be excluded from the Front Beach, 398 wanted the restrictions in Charmouth to continue and 305 respondents wanted dogs to continue to be excluded at Seatown during specified months.

Proposals that dogs should be excluded from defined areas of beaches all year round was supported by 1,466 people, with 760 stating it should be unrestricted.

These views will be used to create a new order that will give clarity and consistency. Councillors will make the final decision on the controls to be included in the new order

Cllr Jill Haynes, Dorset Council portfolio holder for customer and community services, said: “We have had an excellent response rate for this consultation, and it gave us a wealth of information to base the new PSPO. Thank you to everyone who took part.

“The full report and recommendations will be discussed at place and resources overview committee on September 21 and then to cabinet on October 6.”

Read the full report at