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Services in Christchurch

Beach guidelines (Christchurch)

Respect, protect and enjoy our beaches

This summer we and other agencies are working together to keep everyone safe through a summer readiness plan.

To keep our beaches and seafront clean, safe and enjoyable, there are some beach guidelines to follow. Familiarise yourself and don’t fall foul of the rules. 

Anyone who fails to comply risks a fine or prosecution. 

Know before you go

Plan your trip to the area with the latest information:

Download the beach check app

Before you arrive, get up to the minute information on how busy the beaches and car parks are, by downloading our beach check app.

Tow away in operation

When you visit, park responsibly. Cars parked on double yellow lines, causing an obstruction or blocking access may be towed. 

Respect our staff

Our staff and everyone we work with are key to making Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole an award-winning destination to live, work and visit. From Seafront Rangers to car park attendants, cleaners to the RNLI, look after them so they can look after you.

Littering

To keep our beaches clean, 400 triple sized bins are being installed across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole seafront. Littering threatens other people’s safety and our local wildlife. Put rubbish in the bins provided or take it home. Leave only footprints or risk a maximum fine of £150.

Recycling on the seafront

Very frequently, recycling bins along the seafront are contaminated and therefore need to be treated as general waste. It only takes a few items to contaminate a whole bin or even an entire vehicle if the contamination is collected. 

More about recycling on the seafront.

Overnight camping

No overnight sleeping or camping is allowed on the beach, seafront, cliffs or car parks. Camping in any unauthorised space is dangerous.  Be prepared to be disturbed as a 24-hour beach patrol will repeatedly be visiting to gather evidence for prosecution and you could face a £1000 fine. Instead, why not stay at one of the lovely camp sites in and around BournemouthChristchurch and Poole.

Open fires

Open fires, fire pits and fire bowls are not permitted at any time on our beaches, promenades, cliffs, cliff tops or woodland areas.

Our beaches are surrounded by unique cliff habitats which are Sites of Special Scientific Interest and provide a home to many of the UK’s rare species of reptiles, birds and insects. Their dry nature means they are vulnerable and sparks from open fires can cause horrific damage. Protect the environment – don’t risk a fine of £1000.

Barbecues (BBQs)

Disposable barbecues are only permitted at the following beaches between 6pm and 10:30pm. 

  • Gundimore Beach
  • Avon Beach
  • Friars Cliff.

Gas barbecues are not permitted at any time.

Use your disposable barbecue responsibly, safely and respectfully, ensuring that they do not cause a nuisance to others.

When you’ve finished with your barbecue, please extinguish it carefully with water and leave it next to the bins on the promenade for collection by our waste teams. Do not bury or put hot BBQs into bins.

Cycling

In Christchurch, cycling is not possible in all areas as the promenade can be very narrow.

Remember:

  • at all times give way to pedestrians as they have right of way
  • keep your speed below 10mph and slow down
  • when it’s busy, please be responsible - dismount and walk.

E-scooters

It is illegal to use privately-owned e-scooters on the promenade, paths and public roads at any time. Failure to comply, risks confiscation and prosecution by the police.

Beryl rental e-scooters are not available for hire in Christchurch, but are available for hire and use in Bournemouth and Poole only. Please see a map of the area.

Dogs on the beach and seafront

Dogs must be kept on leads on the promenades, piers, zig zags and footpaths and owners must clean up after their dog. Failure to comply risks a fine of up to £1000.

From 1 May to 30 September, dogs are only allowed on the following dog friendly beaches. Download our dog friendly beach map for Bournemouth and Poole and Christchurch.

Bournemouth dog friendly beaches:

  • from Alum Chine to Branksome Dene Chine
  • Middle Chine to Durley Chine
  • Fisherman’s Walk, Southbourne
  • Hengistbury Head.

Christchurch dog friendly beaches:

  • Highcliffe Beach (excluding between Groynes H4 and H8)
  • Mudeford Sandbank
  • Gundimore Beach.

Poole dog friendly beaches:

  • Branksome Dene Chine
  • the western end of Sandbanks beach.

Paddleboards, kayaks and personal watercraft

Christchurch Harbour and the harbour channel (known locally as “the Run”) are busy with personal watercraft.  Please be aware that due to the water depth, boats can only use the deeper marked channels.  Where possible all personal watercraft users should stay out of these areas.  Should you need to cross, please do so at 90 degrees to the channel.

Visit Christchurch Harbour for more information plus details of slipways, moorings and Mudeford Dingy Park.

Personal safety

We want you to enjoy the sun safely. Here are some useful tips: 

  • spend time in the shade between 11am and 3pm
  • wear a t-shirt, hat and sunglasses
  • use factor 15+ sunscreen.

Performances

You can’t give lectures, sermons or any kind of performance on Bournemouth, Christchurch or Poole beaches. 

Games

Ball games must be kept on the beach and not on the promenades. Please consider other people when playing games on the beach. 

Begging and busking

You cannot beg, busk or ask for money on any part of the seafront, either verbally, by handing out leaflets or requesting donations. 

Music

Please consider other people and keep any music to a reasonable volume. If your music can be heard within fifty feet of its source, a Seafront Ranger will ask you to turn it down. 

Generators

Generators are not permitted to be used at any time on any part of the seafront.

Climbing on walls, fences and cliffs

You can’t climb any walls or fences by the seafront and promenades. 

You also can’t climb on any cliffs.

Many cliff areas are Sites of Special Scientific Interest and can be unstable. Stay safe by not climbing and help us to preserve these areas. 

Posters

You cannot put up any posters or notices by the beach.

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