The Solway Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is an unspoilt landscape supporting many rare species of plants and animals. Set out below are the controls that are in place to keep it that way.
The Solway Costs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is a special place with much to offer in quiet enjoyment or even more adventurous pursuits. This section is designed to give you all the information you need to enjoy the Solway Coast AONB, without breaking any of the statutory laws, bye-laws and restrictions that are in place to protect it.
The Solway Coast AONB was created in 1964 under the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949, because of its outstanding scenic beauty. The primary purpose of the designation is to conserve and enhance the area's natural beauty including flora, fauna, geological and physical features. There are also other areas within the AONB with their own level designation. These include Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) and areas designated as of international importance to wetland wildlife under the Ramsar Convention (Ramsar Sites).
If you are unsure about how best to experience the Solway's unique appeal, or think you have seen illegal or damaging activities, please contact us on the number/email below and we will do our utmost to help you.
Tel: 016973 33055
Local bye-laws are made under Section 235 of the Local Government Act 1972. For specific information regarding these bye-laws, please contact Allerdale Borough Council
It is against the law to use any mechanical vehicles on the coast (this means within 15 metres seaward of the B5300). The term 'vehicles' applies to: horse-drawn vehicles, scramble/motorbikes, quads, tractors, cars, lorries, vans or any other mechanical means.
The only exceptions to this rule are:
- Users who have a licence that specifically allows access to the shore by mechanical means. However, even licenced users must use agreed access points;
- The Emergency Services;
- Users who are parking in one of the designated Solway Coast car parks.
- Marine Conservation
Water sports such as power boating, water-skiing and windsurfing are controlled. These activities are zoned for your safety. For example, power boating can take place around Silloth harbour and windsurfing around Allonby Bay.
None of these activities may take place within 50 metres of the high water mark. Only use the agreed access points to the shore.
- Don't dispose of refuse at sea.
- Keep an adequate distance from roosting or feeding birds.
- Anchor away from bird feeding or nesting sites.
- Avoid oil spillage.
- Look to the map for siting of nature reserves and respect them.
It is an offence for any unauthorised person to set any form of trap or snare in order to catch a wild animal.
It is also an offence for any unauthorised person to intentionally kill, injure of take any wild animal included in Schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. Examples of these include: bats, otters, toads, butterflies and red squirrels.
- Extraction & Usage
It is now illegal to take sand and gravel from the shore without an extraction licence from the Environment Agency. Even small-scale collection, for example to build a rockery, is forbidden. Illegal gravel extraction causes damage to the shore's natural flood defences and destroys important bird breeding sites.
Commercial bait digging is illegal on the Solway Coast. Large-scale removal of such species as peeler crabs may cause irreparable damage to the food chain, placing many species at risk.
Bait digging also causes disturbance to sediments that can threaten fragile habitats. Individuals may dig bait for personal use, but should not stockpile bait for long-term use.
Photography of birds in Britain is restricted by law if it involves disturbance of rare breeding birds.
Crows and several other species of bird can be killed by authorised persons only to protect livestock and crops.
All wild birds' nests are fully protected and it is an offence to destroy them whilst they are in use or being built.
It is an offence to collect or possess wild birds' eggs, unless you are a landowner with permission to take eggs of a few 'pest' species.
N.B. During the breeding season, birds nest on the beach above the high water mark. Some of these birds are listed in Schedule 1 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. This means it is an offence to disturb them at any time. Please keep away from the high water mark between April and June.
- Fly Tipping
Fly tipping is illegal. In Allerdale it is punishable by a fine of up to £2,000.
If, from time to time, you have household waste or bulky items such as old furniture or white goods you wish dispose of, call Allerdale's environmental service on: 01900 326453 to arrange removal, FREE OF CHARGE. Call this number also if you require details of other chargeable or non-chargeable collection services for DIY or garden waste.
You may dump your waste in Cumbria County Council Civic Amenity Sites. These can be found at: Clay Flatts, Workington; Lillyhall Industrial Estate, Distington; Glasson Industrial Estate, Maryport, and Syke Road, Wigton.
PLEASE TAKE YOUR LITTER HOME WITH YOU
PLEASE CLEAN UP AFTER YOUR DOG
Remember, fouling by dogs is punishable by a fine in certain areas and dog waste can cause serious health problems in young children.
- Rights of Way
Who can use them?
Right of Way is a right by which any member of the public may travel across land. There are several different kinds, including:
- Footpath - where the public has a Right of Way on foot only;
- Bridleway - where the public has a Right of Way on foot, horseback or pedal cycle, including mountain bikes;
- Permissive Path - where there is no Right of Way, but the landowner has agreed to allow the public use of the path.
A landowner may temporarily disturb a Right of Way that crosses the centre of a field or enclosure in order to cultivate the field. However, the line and surface of the path must be restored soon afterwards.
Please be responsible and considerate of both other users and landowners when using the Rights of Way network. Dogs should be kept under closer control. In most cases this mean on a lead. Remember, if a landowner believes your dog to be worrying or chasing stock, he is within his rights to shoot it.
Sections of the Cumbria Coastal Way are permissive paths. SRI reserves the right to divert these paths where safety to users is in question or continued usage would cause damage to an historical or nature site. Diversions would be minor and still allow the walker to stay within the route corridor.
Further information in Rights of Way legislation can be obtained from SRI on 016973 22620.
Please follow the Country Code:
- Enjoy the Countryside and respect its life and work
- Guard against all risk of fire
- Fasten all gates
- Keep your dogs under close control
- Keep to Rights of Way across farmland
- Use gates and stiles to cross fences, hedges and walls
- Leave livestock, crops and machinery alone
- Take your litter home
- Help to keep all water clean
- Protect wildlife, plants and trees
- Take special care on country roads
- Make no unnecessary noise