Poster suggests nudists have been baring all at Hamsterley Forest beauty spot
IF you go down to the woods today, you may be in for a surprise – because nudists may be enjoying a dale beauty spot.
Forestry officers have responded after a sign was spotted in Hamsterley Forest which appeared to have been put up by naturists in the car park near Blackling Hole – a well-known beauty spot and waterfall.
It read: “You may encounter naturists enjoying this area naked today. Simple public nudity is not illegal in England and Wales. To see the current guidelines for the police response to naturism and public nudity, visit…”
A web link and QR code was then provided.
The sign, which was lam-inated, was photographed by a wildlife enthusiast.
The man said: “I just came across it by chance as it was very dark – it was lit up bright white with my head torch.”
Forestry England, which manages the beauty spot, said staff were not aware of nudists using the forest, adding that no complaints had been received. The spokesman added: “This is an unauthorised sign. We have not permitted any events.”
Asked what people should do if they see people naked
in Hamsterley Forest, a spokesman said: “While respecting an individual’s right to freedom of expression if other visitors feel harassed, alarmed or distressed, they should consider calling the police.
“If a complaint was made to us and we saw the person, or people, we would consider asking them to get dressed or if the complaint was more serious report it to the police ourselves.”
Forestry England said there is no dedicated area for naturists in Hamsterley Forest.
Forest managers said they will treat any signs put up like this as unauthorised and remove them.
UK law says public nudity is not a crime, as long as the naked person has no
intention of causing alarm or distress – for example “flashers”.
The Crown Prosecution Service’s guidance to police says: “In the absence of any sexual context and in relation to nudity where the person has no intention to cause alarm or distress it will normally be appropriate to take no action unless members of the public were actually caused harassment, alarm or distress.”