The Kennel Club position
The Kennel Club welcomed the Marine and Coastal Access Act
(MCA), which was enacted to open up access for the public to the
English coast by creating a long distance walking route around the
entire coastline. Following a successful lobbying campaign by the
Kennel Club, the Act also gives dog walkers access to the entire
coastal trail, under the premise that as dogs are kept under
Definition of 'Effective Control'
The Kennel Club worked with RSPB to establish a definition of
'effective control', which was included as an amendment in the Act.
According to this clause, a dog is considered to be under effective
a) it remains on land which becomes access land by virtue of this
b) is kept on a lead whether fixed or extendable, or
c) if not on a lead, the person in charge of the dog remains aware
of its actions and the dog will return to him reliably and promptly
on command. The Act therefore introduces 'effective control' as a
legally defined term, since used in the Control of Dogs (Scotland) Act.
Why is the Marine and Coastal Access Act significant?
- Equal Access - The Act provides dogs kept under effective
control the same access rights as other walkers to use the coastal
path around England.
- Dog Control Order Consultations - The Act places an obligation
upon local authorities to consult with Natural England - the
government agency given the task of implementing the coastal path -
on any proposals to introduce dog
How will the MCA be implemented?
The long distance route has been divided into administrative
sections, each of which will be consulted upon with the local
council, local access forums, landowners and local interest groups
and clubs. Natural England will then submit a finalised schedule to
the DEFRA Minister. After this has been approved, this section of
pathway can be implemented. Each section will be approximately 30km
The Kennel Club is continuing to submit responses to all coastal
For more information about the progress of the English coastal
path, please visit: