YOU can see why sections of the community believe the Narrawallee Beach's Off-leash Dog Area trial was always going to fail.
The signage, when you look at it, outlining the "dos and don't" is confusing, small and hard to understand.
Many people, according to some local residents, did not even see the signs and went right past them, while others could not work out where they were allowed and not allowed to go.
Shoalhaven City Council over the last 12-months, trialled Narrawallee Beach's Off-leash Dog Area with extended operating hours during the warmer months and an on-leash access from Surfers Avenue.
Council has now, on the back of the trial, recently announced that access to the off-leash area via Surfers Avenue and Victor Avenue is now prohibited.
Access to the dog off-leash area is available from Narrawallee Inlet Reserve (Matron Porter Drive).
Many residents like Mollymook Beach couple, Sarah Chester and Tim Trescowthick, say making people use the Matron Porter Drive is unfair.
They say the new arrangements will make it hard for people who don't drive or are not healthy enough to access the Matron Porter Drive area to get their dogs down to the beach for a walk.
They said the signage simply was not good enough.
"It [the trial] was just so poorly signaged and it was confusing. People here and people visiting the area could not understand where they could take their dog," Sarah said.
Sarah added at a recent council meeting the poor signage was discussed.
Tim and Sarah think there should be another trial with better and clearer signage.
"There are so many issues involved here but there are a lot of people that enjoy the ability to take their dogs down there [the beach] at set times," Sarah said.
"We don't want 24-hours access - we just want reasonable access and this trial gave us access to the southern end of the beach."
She admits some people did the wrong thing but added because the poor signage would not have had a "hope in hell" of being able to work out where they were supposed to go.
Sarah went onto explain how there are now more dogs in the area, post COVID-19, because of the associated benefits.
"This area is full of retired people with dogs who have also lost their partners and their dogs are their new partners," Sarah said.
"We are meant to exercise more and mentally dogs are a great comfort.
"People from their dogs put dollars into the community and yes they [dog owners] need to be regulated and educated.
"We need to work with the council as dog owners and we need to understand the needs of other people who don't like dogs."
Tim has spent lots of time on the phone talking to councillors about the matter.
"The best way forward is to re-engage the trial and have adequate signposting and clear signposting so dog owners know their responsibilities and be faced with penalties if they don't adhere to those responsibilities," Tim said.
More to come