Dogs must be on leads from 1st April at Ayres reserve – reminder
Dog walkers are reminded their animals must be on leads at the Ayres National Nature Reserve from Saturday 1st April to protect ground nesting birds.
The requirement comes under bylaws and extends until Monday 31st July. Failure to comply could result in a fine of up to £2,500.
The reserve is an important refuge for ground nesting birds that have declined in numbers in the Isle of Man.
Curlew, lapwing, oystercatcher, ringed plover, little and Arctic tern, skylark and meadow pipit all lay eggs on the ground at the reserve.
When chicks hatch, they move away from nests under the watchful eye of their parents. It can be five weeks before they can fly, during which time they are vulnerable.
Geoffrey Boot MHK, Minister for Environment, Food and Agriculture, said: ‘Our abundance and variety of bird life is one of many reasons the Isle of Man is a special place to live, work and visit.
‘It also contributes to our coveted status as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
‘We appeal to dog owners to act responsibly and we’ll be working with the Isle of Man Constabulary to ensure anyone who flouts the bylaws is penalised.’
Constable Chloe Keegan, a Wildlife Crime Officer with the Constabulary, said: ‘There is clear signage at all entry points onto the Ayres National Nature Reserve showing that from the 1st of April until the 31st July each year, dogs must be on leads.
‘We would ask that dog walkers respect this law or make the choice to exercise their dog off the lead elsewhere. Anyone found exercising their dog without a lead may find themselves in court and facing a substantial fine.’