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Public Space Protection Order - Dog Control signs have been erected today in Duke Street park

Public Space Protection Order - Dog Control signs have been erected today in Duke Street park in Formby. All details here…

Dogs in Sefton

Sefton Council welcomes responsible dog owners to its parks, greenspaces and miles of protected coastline, however it is important that owners follow clear regulations and guidance if visiting these sites – or when going for a walk along roads and footpaths, or cemeteries and crematoria.

On this page you will find information, maps and links designed to clearly explain how to behave responsibly when out and about with your pet.

Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) - Dog Control 2021

The Dog Control Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) has been agreed by the Elected Members of Sefton Council following extensive public consultation. It was approved at a full Council meeting held on Thursday 22nd April 2021.

PSPOs are powers that are available to local authorities to deal with anti-social behaviour and to ensure that communities are great places for everybody to live.

The PSPO for Dog Control aims to help dog owners behave responsibly in areas that are enjoyed by many other user groups. It outlines requirements and restrictions to encourage responsible dog ownership and to ensure that shared spaces are usable and accessible for all of Sefton’s residents.

A PSPO is an official measure that is an enforceable part of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. PSPOs can be used to protect the public from behaviour that is having or is likely to have a harmful effect on the quality of life of those in the locality and is persistent and unreasonable or is likely to be.

This Dog Control Order is in place for up to three years until July 2024.

The following requirements / restrictions summarised below are included within the Order:

  • Failure to remove your dog’s fouling forthwith.

  • Restrict the number of dogs that can be walked by one person to a maximum of 6 dogs on or off the lead.

  • Prohibit dogs from entering enclosed playgrounds and fenced sports pitches, including multi use game sport facilities.

  • Prohibit dogs from entering marked sports pitches during specified times.

  • Dogs to be kept on a lead within defined picnic sites and family areas in parks.

  • Dogs to be kept on a lead within all designated carriageways (A and B classified Road) and footways.

  • Dogs to be kept on a lead within all cemeteries and crematoria.

  • Dogs to be placed on a lead when directed by an authorised officer to prevent a nuisance or behaviour by the dog likely to cause annoyance or disturbance to members of the public.

  • Dog leads must be no greater than 2 metres in length when used in the locations specified above.

A £75 fixed penalty notice (£50 if paid within 10 days) will be issued if you fail to comply with the requirement / restrictions within the Order.


It is not possible to formally appeal against a fixed penalty notice issued for PSPO dog control offences.

However, if you wish to make representations about the fixed penalty notice that has been issued by the Council's contractor (NSL Ltd) then in the first instance you should make contact via email to or in writing to Parking Services, PO Box 225, Bootle, L20 3WD.

Dogs on the coast

Much of the Sefton coast is a Site of Special Scientific Interest, with a series of nature reserves and protected areas running from Crossens in the north to Waterloo in the south.

Dog owners are encouraged to exercise their pets here but you must clean up any fouling, do not leave dog poo bags in the landscape and ensure your dog is kept under control.

There are two beach dog exclusion zones in place from 1st May to 30th September:

  • Southport beach is free of dogs starting from the Pier south towards Pleasureland (for 555m) and to the tide line.

  • Ainsdale Beach is free of dogs 200m either side of the main beach entrance and to the tide line.

Both the dog exclusion zones are well signed during the summer season.

Rare species including Natterjack Toads and Great Crested Newts use the many pools in the dunes – dogs MUST be kept out of these areas of water so these protected species can survive.

Dogs should also be kept away from birds on the beach, especially large flocks of roosting waders, terns and gulls, all of which use this coastline as an essential stop off or breeding site along the East Atlantic Flyway. It is a criminal offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 to allow your dog to disturb these birds.

Pets should also be controlled so they do not disturb ground-nesting birds in the dunes. Nesting species are also protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. Threatened species including Skylarks are vulnerable and can be found throughout the Sefton dune system.

Dogs should also be kept under close control and way from all livestock (sheep, cows etc.) on the coast.

Stray dogs

Under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 each local authority has an obligation to pick up stray dogs. To reclaim their dog, owners must pay a reclaim fee in full before the dog will be released. After seven days, the dog becomes the property of Animals Wardens Ltd who may gift the dog to any rehoming centre across the North West for them to assess its suitability to be rehomed.

Reporting a stray dog

Animal wardens are operating our stray dog service. If you wish to report a stray or lost dog at any time including evenings or at weekends and Bank Holidays, please contact Animal Wardens Ltd via phone 0151 374 2174 or email

The Animal Wardens will only collect a stray dog if it has been secured.

Reclaiming a stray dog

To reclaim their dog, the keeper must contact Animal Wardens on 0151 374 2174and pay a reclaim fee in full before the dog will be returned.

  • If a dog is reclaimed within 48 hours of arriving at the kennels, the reclaim fee is £71.00 per dog.

  • If a dog is reclaimed after 48 hours of arriving at the kennels, the reclaim fee is £110.00 per dog.

Dangerous or out of control dogs

If you are worried about a dangerous breed, a dog that is out of control, a dangerous or aggressive dog please contact your local police station on 0151 709 6010.

Collar & tag

It is a legal requirement that all dogs must wear a collar and tag (even if microchipped) when in a public place. The tag must be inscribed with the name and address of the owner.

Public Space Protection Order can be viewed here:




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