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Walking with your dog

Beach dog walk

Beach dog walk

Dogs and dog walkers are very welcome on the Norfolk Coast.

Dogs are allowed on many of the beaches all year round, the majority of pubs welcome dogs into their gardens and bar areas and a good number of accommodation providers allow dogs to stay.

However, some areas ban dogs or require them to be kept on leads at certain times of the year or in specified zones. These restrictions are to avoid disturbance to people, wildlife and/or livestock. In particular, little terns and ringed plovers nest out in the open on our beaches and are very sensitive indeed to dog disturbance.

Please take notice of signs asking for dogs to be kept away from these areas.

More information on helping to care for the birds of the Norfolk Coast

For more general information on North Norfolk restrictions (from Wells to Sea Palling) -

For West Norfolk -

January 2018 Dogs on beach warning re: Paralytic shellfish poisoning incidents

Eastern IFCA (Insore Fisheries and Conservation Authority) are carrying a press release on their website regarding pets becoming ill after consuming items on beaches. Please read the full press release at 

Information given includes the following advice:

There is no risk from the presence of PSP toxins in seawater, and the test results from sampling undertaken so far does not indicate that such contamination currently exists. Recreational users of the coast, in particular dog walkers, are advised to take simple precautions to prevent their pets from consuming anything found on a beach. Whilst walking on the coast, these may include keeping their pets under close control, on leads or muzzled, if considered appropriate.

Dr Andrew Turner, from Cefas, said: 'There is no risk to people or animals from the seawater. The only risk is from ingesting PSP-contaminated animals found on the beach, so simple precautions should be followed to ensure that pets and people do not eat anything they find on the beach.'

Dog and shingle Photo by Jo Abbs

Dog and shingle Photo by Jo Abbs

In addition, please be a responsible dog owner:

  • Obey rules for dog access.- Clean up after your dog and dispose of poo bags responsibly.

  • Keep your dog under control.

  • Ensure your dog doesn't frighten people, especially children, or disturb wildlife or livestock.

  • Never leave your dog in a hot car, even for a short period.

Happy coastal walkies

Illustration for Walking with your dog

For advice from Timmy the terrier on walking your dog on the coast, this is taken from his article on page 3 of the 2011 Norfolk Coast Guardian.

  • I love the Norfolk Coast. And most of all, I love running off my lead on its big, beautiful beaches. Unless my owner tells me otherwise, I just do what comes naturally. But lots of other people and wild birds use the beaches as well, so I need my owners help to make sure we can all share them.
  • I really like running around and sniffing all the interesting smells on the beaches while my owner has a relaxing walk (dont they know how great all these smells are?). But in spring, lots of birds nest on the ground, and some of them nest on beaches near the high water mark. Theyre very difficult to see, but I can find them! The birds have a tough time as it is, with variable weather and tides, and predators. I can snaffle a tasty egg or chick without my owner even seeing sometimes (well, they cant expect me to know any better). Even if I dont do this, disturbing the adult bird on the nest makes the eggs or chicks vulnerable to herring gulls and crows.
  • At other times of year, its good fun to chase flocks of birds on the beach and see them all fly up. But unlike me, they dont go home to their dinner. They have to find what food they can, sometimes in very cold weather. So the energy they get from their food is very precious to them and they cant afford to waste it.
  • Some of my friends think that chasing grazing animals on the nearby marshes is good fun, too. But its not fair on the animals, and they can get injured if we get carried away with the chasing. And if they get out in their panic, someone has to find and collect them up, which is much harder than scattering them!
  • People are funny animals. For some strange reason, some other people are worried when I come up to them to make friends, or bark if Im excited, or jump up. But I suppose everyones entitled to their view, so dont let me spoil their visit to the beach.
  • If you make sure that you know about important wildlife areas on the beach and keep an eye on me, and I understand you and come back when you tell me, and you only let me off my lead when youre sure its OK, I wont cause any worries to others, or to the birds.
  • And please do clean up after me. Its not nice for other people to come across my mess, and it can cause diseases, especially in children. Take the trouble to find a proper bin or take it home with you. If you just leave it in a bag, it looks awful and someone else has to clear it up, which isnt nice for them.

Great - so can we go to the beach now?