No naked picnic for Nottingham - council bans naturist event in park

Members of the British Naturists were expecting up to 400 people at Wollaton Park

Lizzie Dearden@lizziedearden
Friday 27 June 2014 23:31
Wollaton Park in Nottingham
Wollaton Park in Nottingham

A naturist picnic planned in a Nottingham park has been refused by the local council because nudism is “not suitable in a family environment”.

Nudists hoped to hold an event at Wollaton Park in the city attracting up to 400 people.

But Nottinghamshire City Council turned down the request, offering instead to discuss hire of areas where it could take place in an “appropriate, private setting”.

A spokesman for the council said: “We have no objections in principle to naturism, but we don’t think it is suitable in a family environment such as a park for people to be present without any clothes on, as there’s a risk of offending other park users.”

Andrew Welch, from British Naturism, told The Independent a member of the organisation had tried to organise the event to celebrate its 50th anniversary.

“We do understand there are sensitivities,” he said. “It’s not natural that we have to cover up all the time.

“Nobody is offended by nudity, although they might be a little bit surprised.”

Mr Welch said many of British Naturism’s members were family groups and pointed to the growing popularity of the Naked Bike Ride as evidence that people are becoming more accepting of nudism.

Although being naked in public is not a criminal offence in itself, people can be prosecuted for indecent exposure if intent is found, or under the Public Order Act.

British Naturism is among groups pushing for more tolerance by police to nakedness in public and the case of the “naked rambler” drew attention to the issue last year.

Stephen Gough, a former Royal Marine, has been jailed numerous times on his quest to walk the length of Britain wearing just a backpack, hat and shoes.

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