Dog-free zones to protect wildlife could be introduced in East Lothian’s countryside under new rules to protect the county’s coastal landscape - your views online

"Not everyone likes dogs and there are too many bad owner around now who let their pet chase wildlife.”

Thursday, 27th May 2021, 7:00 am
Dogs are already banned from Aberlady Nature Reserve

Dog ban plan

Dog-free zones to protect wildlife could be introduced in East Lothian’s countryside under new rules to protect the county’s coastal landscape

Liz Crosbie

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Totally agree with this. I am a dog owner and he is always on his leash near animals in the Pentland Hills. Where my son lives in Australia they have dog-free beaches but also part of it is for dogs and it works really well.

Agata McWhirter

Aberlady nature reserve has been a no-dog zone for a long time but it doesn’t stop people taking their dogs there. Repeatedly I see people with dogs off the lead there. It’s not the dogs’ fault, it’s the people. Perhaps tighter laws are needed on who should own a dog, as there seems to be a growing number, especially during lockdown, of those who don’t have a clue how to be a responsible dog owner.

Jake McWatt

Definitely, and there should be extra seasonal wardens of some sort to police it too. Two or three times I have seen unruly dogs running along the Puffer burn chasing hundreds of birds in the process. Not good enough!

Alison Martin

I'm a dog owner and I think this is a great idea. Not everyone likes dogs and there are too many bad owner around now who let their pet chase wildlife. Wildlife comes first, it's their home.

Vic Weddell

In areas where there is an issue re wildlife I get it, and I say that as a dog owner. Otherwise it’s a bit silly really. Humans do much worse from an environmental point of view.

Frances Petrie-Hay

Having watched several loose dogs chasing ground-nesting birds, owners thinking it was great fun, I have to fully support the ban. Many dog owners don't think they have to pick up after their dogs in the countryside - disgusting and dangerous.

Karen Brown

I love dogs, but nowadays there does appear to be a good few spoiling it for the many! Too many dogs off lead attacking birds, disturbing nest , sheep attacks, horses, deer. A woman on a walk openly admitted she let her dog off as he loves to chase the deer! I can totally understand the need now to consider dog-free zones. There are so many notices up saying keep dogs on lead, very few actually do so.

Tracey Henry

Definitely - they do it in Spain where there are only certain beaches dogs can go on. Portobello is the worst beach ever. Take your kids down there – the dogs are fouling everywhere; snatching ice cream out of babies’ mouths; knocking kids down. And their owners think the kids are in the wrong place!

Kathy Aliberti

A good move. In the eyes of some owners dogs come above all other animals. It would be wonderful to walk through woods and hear nothing but bird song, but it's not possible any more without a barking dog or a barking owner shrieking their dog's name. The coasts and countryside are for everyone to enjoy. For my 5ft tall mum who has been knocked down three times by dogs 'just being friendly' many areas are now no go. Many owners seem unaware of the law that states that dogs must be under the owners' control at all times (that doesn't mean a leash, it means a well-trained dog). I think dogs are lovely and a well trained dog is a joy to behold. It's the poorly trained owners that are the problem.

Julie Shaw-Binns

We are a dog family and I totally back this move as unfortunately not all dog walkers pick up after. Children should be given safe spaces to play in around public areas. Definitely a positive move forward!

Alistair James Stewart

When my dog is off the lead, he is playing with his ball and bringing it straight back. He doesn’t run after wildlife and doesn’t run off to jump at folk. So for me, this is just telling my dog he is bad for no reason. He loves just going in the water for a wee swim and then coming back out. I never let him near wildlife so this is massive blow for me.


I’m so glad of this being created! I don’t like dogs personally as I was attacked by some when I was younger and nearly killed. I’m fed up with owners who keep letting their dogs run up to you off the lead and expecting you to be OKwith it when you could have a genuine fear.

Mark Fairbairn

Ban dogs to protect the coastal landscape? Are the dogs down there camping and burning things an breaking bottles? These dogs are out of control, so they are! Next they'll be joyriding motors through the town if they ban them from the coast! Geezo, ban folk from towns, dogs from the coast, what next - ban fish from the sea?

Ewan Gibson

Chip all dogs and DNA tag them.