Naturists Campaigning for Naturism

Holkham Naturist Beach – Closure? Or Just The Suspension Of Official Endorsement?

Holkham Beach Sign

Holkham Beach Sign

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.

[1] 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.

[2] 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.

[3] Threats of police action may intimidate, but if anyone sees any illegal activity taking place they should report this to the police.

[4] 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.

[5] 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.

[6] 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.


4 Responses to Holkham Naturist Beach – Closure? Or Just The Suspension Of Official Endorsement?

  • It does indeed seem that the law is attempting to stamp out any normal naturist activity, not only on Holkham Beach, but, I don’t believe it will stop here. I think that this is just the start of it. Which Beach is next? Studland, Benar, Brighton, etc. The trouble lies with the fact that call a beach a naturist beach and it opens it up immediately to voyeurs, doggers, and all sorts of other perverts, and us true naturists are becoming lumped in with them and we are all thought of as the same. The general public seem to see it as nudity equals sex, and sex equals nudity, it’s the way most people re brought up. This is what will eventually destroy naturism in this country

  • This is a bad situation that has lumped true naturists in with doggers and swingers. If the estate management have to patrol the beach to prevent naturism couldn’t they have patrolled the beach to confront and deter those indulging in sexual activity?

  • Holkham beach is indeed a fabulous place, I visited there some years ago. Surely the estate patrol should be addressing the dogging issue and not looking to ban the naturists who, generally, only indulge in the same activities as textile beach goers.
    It is so annoying and I feel there may be an underlying issue. Are they using the sex and dogging as a lever. Where is the evidence that these pervs are actually using the beach for these purposes. Can we naturists not assist in flushing these undesirables out?
    Unfortunately I cannot go to the picnic on the 11th Aug otherwise what a great show of solidarity.

  • Visited Holkham beach on 6th and 7th July a week after it was ‘closed’. Saturday was very quiet and Sunday was a bit busier and we met up with some previous acquaintances. Saturday the ‘mere cats’ were in force in the dunes but had moved up to the the ‘textile area’ by Sunday due to the presence of the wardens. That didn’t matter as we try to stay on the beach nearer to the sea as in the past we have had run ins with ‘Mr Blue Towel’, regulars will know who he is, but others just need to know that he is one of the perverts who have caused all the problems. The Wardens came around twice and were very friendly, most people just covered up prior to the wardens arrival and then resumed after they left. Two years ago during the BN open beach day, I think it was August 31st 2011, my wife and I were present when Viscount Coke came to speak to people. He said then that as long as he was in charge naturism would always be allowed on Holkham beach. He was aware then of the problems with ‘Blue Towel’ and his sick friends and asked the Police to ensure the problem was dealt with. As a previous replyer said, surely it would have been better to deal with the perverts in the dunes than to ban everyone. Would it not be better still to put up signs, say 100 yards or so from the dunes, and have everyone go onto the beach so that no one can hide away doing whatever it is they do. My wife and I have been coming to Holkham beach for many years specifically for naturism and would stay locally. After being on the beach we would nearly always visit the hall for tea etc, and spend our money there and have dinner locally in Wells. On average we used to spend probably up to £1000 per year or more (including our £5 parking everyday for up to two weeks at a time). Will this now have a very dramatic effect on the local economy now that all the naturists no longer have a reason to visit the area. Studland in Dorset and Morfa Dyfryn in Wales will now benefit from my visits and my money. To the dozens of friends that we have made over the years at Holkham we hope meet some of you at the beaches mentioned and to rest we must regrettably say ‘goodbye’ and hope Viscount Coke keeps to his word and changes his mind.

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