Naturists Campaigning for Naturism

NAG success in London

NAG has achieved a major breakthrough at Hampstead Heath. Hard work, initiated by Duncan Heenan of NAG and a team of volunteers over 8 years, led to the publishing of new guidance. Reports on dealing with public nudity came from the Crown Prosecution Service (2013) and the College of Policing (2018). BN was the junior partner in the latter years of the project. The impact of these new guidelines has been dramatic for naturism in the UK.

Carlie Newman led our Hampstead Heath Sub-committee. Recently  NAG raised the College of Policing guidelines with the Hampstead Heath management. The result is that naturism on Hampstead Heath was accepted by the management as being legal. NAG has produced the following statement:

The College of Policing guidelines apply to Hampstead Heath as they do elsewhere. There will not be a designated naturist area. Naturists are requested to use common sense and avoid busier areas of the heath, as this should avoid complaints from members of the public who may be disturbed by the nudity.

New instructions to HH staff mean that discreet naturism is now acceptable – within reason – including at the Ladies Pond. Naturists acting sensibly on the Heath should not be unduly harassed by the Heath Wardens or the Hampstead Heath Constabulary.

Various matters were reported at the 29 September NAG London Group meeting.

Louise gave an update on women naturists promoting naturism in the Ladies Pond at Hampstead Heath. Visits had been made before the meeting with the Hampstead Heath senior management. Naturism took place, discussions were held with the staff who did not like the nudity at the Ladies Pond. New instructions will have now been issued to the HH Pond attendants.

Louise also reported on the 22 September successful Naturist Women’s Day. This had a wide range of activities attended by 15 women, some new to naturism. It was held at a venue in Waterloo, London, with all participants having a marvellous time. Louise will publish fuller reports on the event elsewhere.

Harvey Allen gave details of NAG’s second London Naked Pub Day with lunch, which will be on Sunday 25 November. The Blue Lion pub in Gray’s Inn Road will be open 1.30pm to 6.00pm, but only to naturists who have booked, paid £25 and received their ticket. A 2-course lunch will be served at 3.00pm, so that people attending the Naturist Swim in central London that day can attend after their swim. Bookings from both male and female naturists have already come in. Details are available from windbag96@yahoo.co.uk

Steve Harrison reported progress on getting naturists interested in starting a new Friday naturist swim in Dulwich. There is a time slot available at the leisure centre, but Steve would like naturists to contact him so that he has an indication of preliminary support for this new venture. Then Steve can talk details with the pool managers, after which a package could be advertised out by NAG. If you want to know more then please contact Steve on steveharrison83@yahoo.co.uk 

The successful WNBR London ride in June was reported on by Harvey Allen. Over 2,500 riders, female, male and all ages, took parted which makes it London’s biggest naked event by far. Several NAG supporters help to organise the London WNBR. An after-event party in Battersea was packed out, and preliminary ideas will be explored by the London WNBR organisers next year for a much larger after-event with the 2019 London ride.

The NAG Paris fact-finding mission, led by John Paine, explored naturism in Paris. We discussed with colleagues in ANP, APNEL and FFN, how they won over Ann Hilgado, mayor of Paris (the equivalent to Sadiq Khan in London). There is now an official naturist space in the Bois de Vincennes, in east Paris. We took part in the monthly naturist picnic there, along with 300 naturists of both sexes. We also had dinner in O’Naturel, a naturist restaurant. A fuller report on the Paris trip will be published by NAG.

Open Space Naturism work on possibilities by NAG means that 25 London parks and spaces have already been checked. John Paine reported on a summer 2018 check made at Gunnersbury Park at Acton. During 2019 NAG intends to do likewise at Richmond Park. Other places already earmarked by NAG supporters for checking are Beckenham Place Park in Bromley, Wimbledon Common, and Rainham Marshes. How soon they get done depends on NAG supporters helping. NAG has produced guidelines for this checking.

Four other matters were discussed. Queen Victoria was thought to support naturism for wounded soldiers at Wimbledon Common. What naturist opportunities the recently approved London National City Park may provide. Whether the Country Land Conservation Society mapping of open space in the south-east could hold naturist possibilities. We also heard about a forthcoming dinner and show “Divine Proportions” which has two ‘clothing option’ performances at The Vaults, Waterloo, on 8 and 24 November. For details use www.thevaults.london/divine-proportions

For further information, and how you might be involved in any of the above, please contact john.paine@talk.talk.net

30 September 2018

8 Responses to NAG success in London

  • Well done John, Carlie, Harvey and all others who have worked so long and hard to persuade the Hampstead Heath management that naturism is legal and harmless. Doubtless there will be hiccups and misunderstandings along the way still, but real progress is now being made, and is a tribute to the tenacity of all concerned. There are few quick wins in the world of Campaigning, but persistence pays in the end!

  • That is fabulous news, regarding Hampstead Heath.
    Is swimming ‘au natural’ restricted to the lady’s pond or does it extend to the other ponds?

  • Much appreciated Duncan.

    You are correct that some campaigns are a long haul. You are the person to be credited for your perseverance as the NAG team leader in getting the authorities, including the College of Policing, to acknowledge that naturism in public is not illegal. The rest of us, including Juliette Gill in Scotland, have quickly taken action to ensure that police authorities acknowledge this fact.

  • The new policy regarding naturism on Hampstead Heath that the HH management has adopted is very welcome and is a tribute to the hard work put in by NAG campaigners. Do we know what the new instructions issued to HH staff actually say? There is still a widespread public belief that nudity in public is illegal, so how have staff been told to respond to complaints that they may receive? Have they been told to explain to complainants that naturism is not illegal and that no action will be taken unless a naturist behaves inappropriately?

  • I’m afraid I cannot answer you Philip. I have, however, copied your questions and email address to someone who can and asked her to respond to you direct. As I’m not in charge of the young lady’s diary I cannot give any timescale to expect a reply.
    Reg

  • This comment is being responded to offline. However, please note what our colleagues in London have succeeded in doing is getting Hampstead Heath Management to accept the College of Policing’s new guidance relating to dealing with public nudity. We have not been involved in drafting any new policy to be issued by the City of London and do not expect too. As it is now October, I imagine any new policy will take effect until next summer; we shall wait and see.
    Reg

  • Further to my previous comment, this question has been replied to offline but I post here again so others my learn the answer. In a word, no. Nude swimming any of the ponds: men’s, ladies’ and mixed is not allowed. The Hampstead Heath authorities are only going to interpret sunbathing in accordance with the College of Policing guidelines.

  • Thank you Reg for the clarification. Still a giant step forward!

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