An argument has erupted at one of Britain’s most famous tourist spots after banning dogs from peeing on the grass.
Pets have been banned from visiting Mount St Michael in Cornwall, with only assistance dogs allowed at the landmark, which is owned by St Aubyn Estates and operated by the National Trust.
Patrons of the tourist attraction, where there is a clifftop castle, cafe and pub – say dogs will not be allowed across the causeway, the only access to the island that is cut off at high tide.
They said the urine of visitors’ dogs stretching their legs or squatting burned the pristine lawns and grounds, turning brown the grass where small children play.
The decision was made after “the use by dogs burned the brown grass and made those little areas unsightly and unsuitable for small children to play,” according to the St Michael’s Mount website.
The ban follows a Â£ 14 fee imposed on visitors to the island. Previously, he was free to walk around the village and visit the cafe, entry into the castle only had to be paid.
Patrons of Mount St Michael, home to a clifftop castle, cafe and pub – say dogs will not be allowed across the causeway, the only access to the island that is cut off by the tide high
Michele Cornish, 57, who regularly visits Mount St Michael with the family dog, said she was “saddened” by the decision.
She said: âMy family and I have always enjoyed a walk to the port on the island, shopping in the two stores and having a meal, or at least an ice cream, in one of the cafes.
“I have always understood why dogs are not allowed to come up to the house, but I do not understand why dogs are now not allowed to walk in the harbor.”
Another visitor, Anne Millward, said on social media: âWalked on the pavement and was denied entry as dogs are now prohibited.
âIt’s a shame, because I was planning on buying Christmas presses at the store and having lunch at the cafe.
âRegardless, I ended up spending Â£ 150 on gifts at the shops in Marazion and headed back to the Lizard for lunch. Winner for local businesses, big loss for National Trust. ‘
Alice Dennis said: âIt was so nice to take them for a walk there. Even keeping them in mind, once on their pitch, would be good. I don’t see the damage they could do.
Jan Amos commented: “We often cross the island and visit shops and cafes, but as dogs are now prohibited we will not be returning and certainly would not pay Â£ 14 each for this privilege.”
The St Michael’s Mount website states, âWe do not allow dogs on the island other than service dogs.
The decision was made after “the use by dogs burned the brown grass and made these small areas unsightly and unsuitable for small children to play” according to the St Michael’s Mount website (stock photo)
âAssistance dogs are welcome on the island as well as in the garden and the castle. However, we no longer allow any other dogs to visit the island.
âThe compact harbor and village is mostly paved, with restricted areas of grass that are an integral part of the character of Mt.
âPreviously, use by dogs burned brown grass and made these small areas unsightly and unsuitable for small children playing, necessitating this policy change.
âDogs were never allowed in the narrow, steep terraced garden, the lawn or in the castle. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.
Recently, regular visitors to St Michael’s Mount complained about the new Â£ 14 fee to access the island, its shops and cafe, which they described as ‘appalling’ and ‘shameful’.
The island – to which you can walk via the causeway at low tide or pay a small fee to go by boat – was free to access and explore.
Only visits to the castle itself were chargeable on the famous island with its cafe and cottages.
A new pre-booking system, which was introduced to handle crowds during the coronavirus pandemic, now means everyone except members of the National Trust – who will still need to pre-book their tour online – will have to pay to access the island and village facilities.
The National Trust has been asked for comment.