Dogs on Cornish beaches: your views?
Always a contentious topic! Every three years Cornwall Council runs a consultation to seek the views of the public on how dogs should be managed on a number of beaches across Cornwall, including Readymoney. For many years there was a total dog ban at Readymoney between Easter Sunday and 1st October but after the last consultation this was revised to banning them only between 10am and 6pm in July and August. As we're right on the beach, we watch the realities of this situation play out and this has been our first "normal" summer of trading since the changes were introduced. On the whole, most people are respectful of the rules and look after their dogs properly. But like many things in life, it is often the few who spoil it for the many and not everyone is as considerate as they should be and many just think the rules don't apply to them. I half wish the Council would retain us to enforce the £1000 fine, we'd have made a pretty penny this summer. However, we actually stopped saying anything to people after a while as it rarely ended well and ultimately, it's not our beach so not down to us to police.
Personally I don't think the signage at Readymoney is brilliant which doesn't help (this has been raised with the Council already) and also a lot of people don't actually realise that you don't have to take the steps off the beach to get up to St Catherine's Castle and the South West Coast path and that you can take the path up between the cottages and the stream instead.
That aside, most people do abide by the rules but even outside July and August (or before 10am and after 6pm) there can often be conflict between dogs and humans. I once watched a dog belonging to a rather famous person (not Dawn French before anyone asks!) do a surreptitious pee up the back of a beach tent whilst the dog's celebrity owner was looking the other way. Mind you, I'm not a fan of beach tents at Readymoney either so I let that one slide 🤣. Dogs skipping about kicking sand onto sunbather's beach towels is also another regular issue, particular for one of our regular visitors who seems to be a magnet for all the badly behaved hounds (yes Jon I am talking about you....) and I never fail to be aghast at how many people take their dog onto the beach on a really hot day, this year more than ever with the extreme heat we had.
I think I'm on the fence on the issue of dogs on the beach to be honest. My spaniel loves swimming with me and obviously she can't come with me at Readymoney during ban hours but actually, it suits us better to swim either before or after anyway. My beagle is a picnic stealing nightmare so best kept well away from a busy beach anyway. But they do enjoy nothing more than a run around a quiet beach and I enjoy my chats with other local dog owners as our furry friends race around in circles (or in the case of said beagle, trying to persuade other dog owners to give him a ball!) so I'd be sad if they could never go on but we can work around a longer ban without too much hassle, a walk to Coombe or Polridmouth makes a good summer alternative and I quite like the Gorran Haven option of dogs being allowed as long as they are on a lead.
Do you have a view? The consultation is open to anyone, whether you live in Cornwall or just visit so do have a look and have your say. You'll find the link here.
Don't forget that whatever the time of year dogs are always welcome on the paved area around the shop and on the slipway and beach steps. Why not bring your pooch in for a free dog treat or even a tub of (not free...) dairy free doggie ice-cream. We've got boxes of poo bags for sale if you get caught short and these brilliant eco dog toys (available in store and online) have been mega popular so your dog won't miss out on the Readymoney fun either way!