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Public Space Protection Order - Dog Control

Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) - Dog Control 

Sefton has beautiful beaches, sand dunes, parks, and open spaces for residents and visitors. We want everyone to enjoy these areas and for them to be safe and welcoming environments for all, including dog walkers.

Sefton Council has introduced a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) in order to balance the needs of dog walkers with the rest of the public. A PSPO is an official measure that is an enforceable part of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.

The current PSPO was approved by full council on 18th April 2024, it is set to expire in April 2027.

The PSPO applies to anyone that is in charge of a dog in certain areas within Sefton. The requirements of the current PSPO are:

  • 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 below. 

Failure to comply with the order will result in a Fixed Penalty Notice of £75 (£50 if paid within 10 days) being issued, or be taken to court and fined up to £1000 for non compliance and no reasonable excuse.

The maps below show the restrictions within our shared spaces.


Ainsdale Village Park (pdf 489KB)
Bedford Park, Birkdale (pdf 54KB)
Botanic Gardens, Churchtown (pdf 58KB)
Bowersdale Park, Seaforth (pdf 51KB)
Copy Lane Park, Netherton (pdf 51KB)
Derby Park, Bootle (pdf 54KB)
Duke Street Park, Formby (pdf 54KB)
Hatton Hill Park, Litherland (pdf 55KB)
Hesketh Park, Southport (pdf 59KB)
Hightown Children's Park (pdf 49KB)
Killen Green Park, Netherton (pdf 652KB)
King's Gardens, Southport (pdf 114KB)
Marian Gardens, Netherton (pdf 52KB)
Moorside Park, Crosby (pdf 52KB)
North Park, Bootle (pdf 1.32MB)
Orrell Mount Park, Litherland (pdf 51KB)
South Park & King's Gardens, Bootle (pdf 52KB)
Victoria Park, Waterloo (pdf 52KB)

Full Order and A & B roads

The full Order can be downloaded below along with a list of A and B roads covered by the Order. 

Carriageway List of A and B Roads (pdf 128KB)
Public Spaces Protection Order - Dog Control 2024 (pdf 1.25MB)


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 (ACOPOA 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. 


Frequently Asked Questions

A Public Spaces Protection Order, also known as a PSPO, is a power available under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.

An order can be used to control certain activities in a specified area if two conditions are met:

  • That the activities have had or are likely to have, a detrimental effect on those in the locality.
  • That the effect is, or is likely to be, persistent and continuing in nature and is or is likely to be such as to make those activities unreasonable and that restrictions are justified.

If any conditions of a PSPO are breached a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) of £75 can be issued, reduced to £50 if paid within 10 days. Failure to pay may lead to prosecution and being liable to a larger fine of up to £1,000.

The PSPO is intended to provide the Council with enforcement powers to address irresponsible dog control and protect the public from anti-social behaviour likely to have a detrimental effect on the quality of life in Sefton.

The Dog Control Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) was agreed by the Elected Members of Sefton Council following extensive public consultation. It was approved at a full Council meeting held on the 18th April 2024.

A PSPO normally lasts for 3 years but can be extended, varied or discharged during this period. This Dog Control Order will be in place until April 2027.

Certain restrictions and requirements contained within the PSPO apply to all open areas in the Borough of Sefton including all A and B roads and footpaths.

Other restrictions and requirements are limited to defined areas and include; exclusion of dogs from enclosed playgrounds and fenced sports facilities; exclusion of dogs from marked football, rugby and cricket pitches during different times of the year; dogs to be kept on a lead in family / picnic areas and cemeteries.

A full list of locations can be found on this webpage. This includes maps for all the main park locations showing restrictions including family / picnic areas.

A sign is placed at each entrance to parks and recreational areas and on Green Sefton information boards outlining the requirements of the PSPO. Large maps are also installed at some locations.

Information stickers are placed on lampposts and street furniture along A and B Roads.

Dogs are excluded from:

  • Any fenced sports pitch, multi-use game sports facility or bowling green
  • Enclosed children’s playgrounds
  • Marked sports pitches at certain times of the year

Dogs are required to be on a lead on A and B roads, in cemeteries and in defined family /picnic areas within parks.

There are certain exemptions within the PSPO for people who are:

  • registered as a blind person in a register compiled under section of the National Assistance Act 1949; or
  • is deaf, in respect of a dog trained by Hearing Dogs for Deaf People (registered charity number 293358) and upon which that person relies for assistance; (excluding Schedule 1); or
  • has a disability which affects his/her mobility, manual dexterity, physical coordination, or ability to lift, carry or otherwise move everyday objects, in respect of a dog trained by a prescribed charity and upon which that person relies for assistance.

No, there are still many locations across the whole of the Borough where dogs can be exercised off lead.

Dogs are not permitted in enclosed children’s playgrounds even if they are on a lead, however there are exemptions for assistance dogs.

Provided your dog is on a lead no greater than 2 metres in length you can take your dog into a cemetery, burial ground, garden of remembrance, or any land which is used as a memorial including any walkways / access points, forecourts, verges or landscaped areas.

You must not take your dog onto a marked football or rugby pitch from 1 September to 31 May inclusive, and cricket pitches from 1 April to 30 September inclusive. 

A list of all A and B roads can be downloaded from this webpage.

It means outdoors in parks, footpaths, highways, bridleways or any other area which someone else could reasonably be expected to access.

This excludes your front or back garden but includes outdoor communal areas in a flat complex for instance.

You will be asked by an authorised officer to put your dog on a lead of not greater than 2 metres in length to prevent nuisance or behaviour by the dog likely to cause annoyance or disturbance to the public, and the behaviour would have a detrimental effect on the quality of life of the public.

Authorised officers of the Council including the Council’s contractor ACAPOA Ltd and Merseyside Police will enforce the PSPO. If an authorised officer witnesses someone breach the PSPO they will issue a £75 Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN), reduced to £50 if paid within 10 days.

It is a criminal offence to obstruct an authorised officer in their duty.

Yes.  You must provide the information requested by the authorised officer as failure to do is an additional offence.  If you do not provide your details when asked to do so the authorised officer may request assistance from Merseyside Police who have committed to assisting Sefton Council with upholding the terms of the PSPO.

You can be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) for £75 if you break the rules.  If you don’t pay the penalty within 14 days you can be prosecuted.  A Magistrate can give a fine of up to £1,000.

If you do not pay the FPN the Council will look to prosecute you in the Magistrates Court for breaching the PSPO where you could face an increased fine up to £1,000.

There is no appeal available when issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN), however you can make an informal challenge where you can say why you believe you should not have been given one.

If the challenge is accepted the FPN will be withdrawn, but if it is rejected you will be asked for payment of the charge as there is no further avenue of challenge to the Council. 

If your challenge has been rejected and you do not make payment, the matter will progress and a prosecution pursued. 

This will be heard at the Magistrates Court where you will be able to plead not guilty and present your case to the Magistrates. If the Magistrate accepts your not guilty plea, they will direct that the Fixed Penalty be quashed.

 Please see the fixed penalty notice information.

Money received from paid Fixed Penalty Notices contribute towards the cost of enforcement services across the whole Borough.

Yes. In addition to the restrictions enforceable under this PSPO, there are restrictions /guidelines covering our coastal areas and nature reserves under specific byelaws and the Countryside Code.

These include dog free zones at Ainsdale and Southport beaches in the summer and general guidance to reduce disturbance to wildlife and livestock throughout the year.

Keeping your dog close to you, under control and in sight at all times, is the best way to ensure you are giving space to wildlife and to other visitors.



Last Updated on Thursday, May 2, 2024

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