Walking your dog on Blakeney Point and Cley Beach

a couple walking dogs on a beach

Many of the birds breeding on the coast, including oystercatchers, terns, redshanks, avocets and ringed plovers nest on the ground, making them especially vulnerable to disturbance. Whilst many factors have a bearing on breeding success, human and particularly dog disturbance can have a significant impact. The presence of dogs can cause birds to leave nests and chicks, leaving them open to predation by gulls and other predators.

Walking your dog on Blakeney Point & Cley Beach

To help minimise disturbance to ground-nesting birds we have produced some handy advice and a map to show you where you can walk with your dog.

Dogs can be walked on the shingle beach at Cley and Salthouse throughout the year, but ground-nesting birds are often present between April and August. Please keep your dog under close control and walk as near to the sea as possible during this important time.

A little tern landing on Blakeney Point
Little tern coming in to land on a shingle beach
A little tern landing on Blakeney Point

There are dog restrictions in place on Blakeney Point from 1 April until 15 August each year with the beginning of the dog restriction zone marked with signs along the width of the beach. Please walk your dog on Cley beach during this period. You may wish to follow the Norfolk Coast Path if you fancy a longer walk.

If you have arrived at Blakeney Point by boat, dogs are welcome in the immediate area around the Lifeboat House but please keep them on a lead at all times. The western end of Blakeney Point is closed to visitor access at all times. Ground-nesting birds may nest anywhere on the shingle, not just in dog-restricted zones. 

Oyster Catcher eggs camouflaged against the shingle nest.
three speckled brown eggs camouflaged in shingle
Oyster Catcher eggs camouflaged against the shingle nest.

It is therefore important to always keep dogs under close control and to stay away from fenced off areas. Some ground-nesting birds such as avocets and little terns are Schedule 1 protected species. Did you know that disturbing these species, even unintentionally, is a prosecutable offence?

Working in partnership

Blakeney Point is part of Blakeney National Nature Reserve and has been under the care of the National Trust since it was gifted in 1912. Cley Marshes Nature Reserve was purchased by Norfolk Wildlife Trust in 1926 and was the first Wildlife Trust reserve in the country. Together these reserves, which stretch for six and a half miles, are internationally recognised as vitally important habitats for breeding birds.

Responsible dog owners

The National Trust and Norfolk Wildlife Trust appreciate the contribution responsible dog owners make to the protection of valuable wildlife habitats on the Norfolk coast. It is important that we work together to support their future. Please always clear up after your dog and dispose of the waste responsibly.

Sandwich Terns on Blakeney Point
A group of Sandwich Terns standing on shingle
Sandwich Terns on Blakeney Point