Article submitted by: Andy Crawford | acmail AT acmail DOT eu
It has been widely reported that the Naturist Beach at Holkham Bay on the North coast of Norfolk became ‘closed’ to naturism on 01 July 2013 Map
The reason given was that this was due to complaints about sexual behavior in the Nature Reserve and that the area had become listed on swinging and dogging websites. This is something that the beach management did not want to be associated with but were powerless to do anything about. As a result Holkham is no longer an officially designated naturist beach.
Holkham is my local naturist beach. I was concerned about this news and the implications that it could have for naturism at Holkham and elsewhere. I think that it is fair to say that the perception by the general public (including many naturists), is that naturism is illegal unless it takes place in a private or officially designated place. The beach management certainly seem to think so.
Signs have been erected advising visitors that naturism is not permitted and that it may cause alarm or distress. Staff and beach wardens from the Holkham Estate are patrolling the area telling anyone they see without ‘bottoms’ on to put some on (not just to cover up). Anyone who refuses is advised that what they are doing is illegal. Obviously, this is enough to deter a great number of naturists from visiting Holkham again.
But stamping out naturism wasn’t on the agenda was it? It was dealing with complaints about sexual behaviour in the nature reserve, which the beach management were powerless to do anything about. There is a certain logic in there and that is if the sexual behaviour is associated with beach naturism, and we stamp out the beach naturism, then the problem is dealt with. The implications in that, I find insidious and downright offensive. Frankly I am utterly disgusted over the behaviour of the beach management over this, as are many so many others.
There is a tendency in these situations for naturists to try to work with the management and to reach an amiable resolve such as creating a naturist area. But since the reverse of that has happened, that seems unlikely. Before we all throw in our towels and comply with the ban, lets just consider a few points.
 Designated naturist areas are only ever created to remove naturism from other nearby areas and so to provide an area, which is free of any naturist activity.
 Designation does not change the legal status of naturism. All it does is create the expectation that there might be naturists in the area and therefore help remove any concern that members of the public might have when encountering naturism. It also makes naturists feel more comfortable when using a designated place, when they might otherwise feel prone to ridicule or possible attack. Sadly this does still happen.
 Threats of police action may intimidate, but if anyone sees any illegal activity taking place they should report this to the police.
 Natural England the foreshore management, along with the Holkham Estate may create any ‘rules’ they wish. They are however largely reliant on the goodwill and co-operation of the general public for any such rules to work.
 We British love signs, but signs can have the opposite effect. Signs saying NO NUDISM or NATURISM IS NOT PERMIITTED can mean that the area is widely used for naturism so don’t complain if you see it.
 The only way that this ban on naturism will work is if we allow it to work.
At time of writing BN still plans to proceed with the event Picnic on the Beach – Holkham Norfolk – 11 Aug 2013 – 11am to 3pm.
So come and show your support for beach naturism at Holkham.