What a pity Bron Dahlstrom’s letter on the delights of the Inverloch Lagoon (Sentinel Times, July 2) was marred by exaggerated and inaccurate claims as to the dangers of dog walkers using the area.
For the record, past studies have shown that on-leash dogs and their owners are no more of a threat to nesting birds than walkers without dogs. Joggers are considerably more of a threat than both. Off-leash dogs are marginally more of a threat than joggers.
In focusing only on the dangers of dogs, Ms Dahlstrom has missed an opportunity to warn all walkers that the biggest threat to bird nests is people accidentally walking over them in the soft sand before the position of the nests are clearly marked.
Ironically the banning of dog owners from perhaps the flattest and safest beach for dog walkers in Inverloch on the unproven, and frankly ridiculous, notion that the wildlife in this area could be alarmed by “even the smell of a dog” only directs more traffic to the areas Ms Dahlstrom now wants dog owners to avoid.
Ms Dahlstrom has a valid point about the risk of off-leash dogs in sensitive areas. The answer to this is common sense policing of off-leash rules in areas and at times when it actually matters, rather than the mindless application of rules when they serve no purpose.
We are lucky to have people who are passionate about the protection of wildlife. Unfortunately, emotional and inaccurate claims, along with beach restrictions based on fiction, only serve to undermine their credibility. People who use the beach every day to enjoy a healthy and harmless activity, and not just when it is sunny, should be seen as a natural ally, not the enemy.
Keith Finney, Inverloch.