As the official British holiday season gets underway, dog owners are being urged to respect other beach users.

According to the British Tourist Authority, around 27 million people visit the British coastline and spend around £5 billion each summer.

However, a Tidy British Group spokesman said that: “since foot-and-mouth, 10 times as many owners are taking their dogs for walks along the beaches. Furthermore, since many rural areas remain hard to access, beaches are ‘good news’ this summer for people wanting to enjoy a day out,” he said.

As a result, the Tidy Britain Group is urging dog owners to make a special effort this summer to ensure the beaches are pleasant for other people to use.

This particularly applies to Britain’s Blue Flag beaches, 55 of which were awarded this status today for exceptional water and environmental standards.

A TBG spokesman said : “One criteria for judging the Blue Flag is that dogs are not allowed in bathing areas, but have a large designated area elsewhere on the beach”.

The spokesman added, “We just want to see responsible dog ownership, where owners clean up after their dogs”.