A photographer who was stopped while taking pictures on a Dorset beach has stoutly defended her actions, saying she was no nuisance to the public because there was no-one else around.

Beach photo banPhoto: Poole Council dispute’s claims that this image shows the beach warden harassing a tourist, instead saying the official was merely offering to take a photo of the man and his wife

Picture credit: Hattie Miles/Daily Echo Bournemouth

A photographer who was stopped while taking pictures on a Dorset beach has stoutly defended her actions, saying she was no nuisance to the public because there was no-one else around.

Last week we reported how Hattie Miles, a photographer for the Bournemouth Echo, was told by a beach security guard she needed a ‘licence’ before taking pictures for commercial purposes from the promenade of Branksome Chine beach in Dorset, which is council-owned.?

The guard would only identify himself as ?Beach 8? (pictured below).

Miles yesterday told Amateur Photographer (AP): ?I was not in any way being a nuisance with my photography and we did pictures early in the day, 9.30-10am, before the beach was busy.

?Actually, apart from ?Beach 8?, we were the only people on that particular section of the sands!?

'Beach 8'

Picture credit: Hattie Miles/Daily Echo Bournemouth

The council?s stance has been widely attacked by Bournemouth Echo readers.

One wrote: ?Easy councils. You stop photo shoots and you cannot promote your town and beaches. Simple as that, or simple as you lot. Whatever next. Again you are reminded that the town belongs to the people, including the beaches.?

Another added: ?Er, correct me if I?m wrong. But I thought that the beach belonged to us, the ratepayers.?

However, one newspaper reader believes the council’s critics have got the wrong end of the stick, pointing out that the rule is only aimed at professional photographers. ?I find it hard to believe that an Echo photographer didn?t know this before heading off to the beach to take some innocent snaps (or create a pretty weak story).?

Meanwhile, an AP reader says he has received a copy of an email sent to a councillor by Poole Council?s head of Leisure Services Clive Smith, the contents of which the council had yet to verify with AP at the time of writing.

In the email Smith concedes that he ?understands photographers concerns? and says he has instructed beach wardens to stop approaching photographers if they are unsure whether pictures are being taken for ?commercial? purposes.

The email adds: ?In future they [the beach team] will only approach people with cameras or video equipment if any of the following apply:

? Amount or type of equipment being used may disrupt beach users (e.g. obstruction, trip, noise)

? Many people involved in shooting (e.g. crowd causing obstruction etc)

? Any activity or behaviour affecting safety

? Any inappropriate filming (e.g. child protection issues, decency)

? Offering to support press or media where their filming may help promote Poole.’

In the email Smith is said to have concluded: ?None of that [the above] is really about photography as much as about sharing the beach with others so I hope that will make a big difference in future.?

Beach photo ban

Picture credit: Hattie Miles/Daily Echo Bournemouth