Dog owners will now be hit with a fine if their dogs are spotted on some Hartlepool beaches as a seasonal ban comes into force this month.
The ban will run from May until the end of September, allowing dogs less beach space for the summer months.
Not all beach areas are covered by the ban, which includes a stretch of Seaton Carew beach between the Norton Hotel and the coach park, as well as the Fish Sands and Block Sands on the Headland.
This also includes the lower promenade and the paddling pool.
Dog owners caught breaching the seasonal ban will receive a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) fine of £80.
The ban aims to ensure that Hartlepool’s most popular beaches remain clean and tidy for visitors during the main summer holiday season.
But council officials stress that not all areas of beach within the borough are covered by the ban, meaning there are still plenty of other beach areas where dogs can be exercised freely.
Project officer Kate Ainger said: “We want as many people as possible, including dog owners, to be able to enjoy the town’s beaches.
“However, we feel that the seasonal ban on dogs is necessary to ensure our most popular stretches of beach are clean and tidy and attractive to visitors who, in turn, spend money that provides a vital boost to the local economy.”
To find out more information about where dogs can be exercised in Hartlepool and which beach areas are covered by the ban, go to www.hartlepool.gov.uk and search for “Dog Control Orders”.