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Council restricts access of pets to Blue Flag beaches 04.03.22
Lisfannan, Culdaff and Stroove

THE Blue Flag is an international environmental award made to beaches throughout the world that demonstrate good environmental standards and good sanitary and safety facilities. To be given Blue Flag status a beach must have a high standard in water quality, environmental management, environmental education and information, and safety and services.
To retain the valued Blue Flags beaches, Donegal County Council must fully comply each year with the criteria set by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) and is subject to inspections throughout the Bathing Season (June 1st to September 15th) for compliance.

An Taisce, which operates the Blue Flag programme in Ireland, has advised local authorities that they must meet all the rules of the programme if they are to retain their flags in 2022 and beyond. These rules include restricting access for dogs and other pets, other than assistance dogs, to Blue Flag beaches. The rule applies during the Bathing Season only.
Pets will be restricted from accessing Stroove beach from 11am to 7pm each day from 1st June to 15th September 2022.
With a coastline of over 1100 km, County Donegal is blessed with many beautiful sandy beaches and it currently has the joint highest number of Blue Flags nationally with twelve beaches in the county holding the award. To retain these iconic awards, the council is putting in place arrangements to allow pet owners to continue to enjoy beaches while limiting pet access to certain areas of Blue Flag beaches at specific times during the bathing season.

At ten of the Blue Flag beaches in Donegal plus two other beaches, that it hoped will gain Blue Flags in the coming years, pets will be restricted from accessing a portion of the beach from 11am to 7pm each day from 1st June to 15th September. This area will include the area supervised by our beach lifeguards plus a buffer either side. Pet owners can continue to enjoy the other parts of these beaches with their pets, in accordance with the existing beach byelaws, at all times.
In Inishowen, these restrictions will apply to Lisfannan and Culdaff beaches.

Given the size of Stroove beach, there is not sufficient space to fulfil the compliance with the Blue Flag criteria and also allow for an additional area for pet access. Therefore, pets will be restricted from accessing Stroove beach from 11am to 7pm each day from 1st June to 15th September 2022.
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