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"Take pictures on the beach? You'll need a licence..."
ENJOY these pictures – there may not be many more of Poole’s beaches in the Daily Echo if council bureaucrats get their way!
A beach warden – who would only identify himself as “Beach 8” – challenged our photographer as she took snaps on the promenade at Branksome Chine yesterday.
He demanded to see a licence and told her she shouldn’t be taking pictures without one.
After years of taking photos on the beaches unchallenged, our snapper Hattie Miles ploughed on regardless.
But the Echo wanted to know why we had been stopped in the first place.
Stuart Terry, coastal works manager at Poole council, said the beach was council land and it was “standard industry practice” to seek permission before taking pictures.
“We make the reasonable request of asking professional photographers and film-makers to alert our staff to their plans in advance when using council land, including Poole beaches, for commercial shoots,” he said.
“This serves only to ensure that the needs of professional film-makers and photographers are properly managed and do not unduly interfere with the safety and enjoyment of other beach users.”
A similar incident took place in March when another experienced photographer was stopped for taking pictures on Sandbanks.
It promoted an outpouring of derision from the media and the photographic community, who claimed such enforcement infringed civil liberties.
The council was accused of acting like a “tin-pot dictatorship”.
No bylaw exists prohibiting the taking of photographs on the beach.
But Mr Terry said beach wardens might approach photographers if they have not been given prior warning.
He added: “We would like to assure the public and commercial organisations that it is not our intention to restrict or prevent photographers or film-makers using Poole’s beaches.”
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