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Naturists can relax in the sun on the heath

25 June, 2020

Illustration by John Sadler

• ISMAIL Al Sabah rightly draws attention to the long tradition of naturists using the swimming pond enclosures for sunbathing and the apparent threat to this, (Naturists have history at the ponds and the City needs to sort out its policy, June 18).

However he is wrong to say “the ponds are the only public space in London where naturists can relax in the sun”.

A small group of us from the Naturist Action Group London met with management from Hampstead Heath. We were assured that The College of Police guidelines apply to Hampstead Heath as they do elsewhere.

These state that public nudity in itself is not a public order offence unless actual harassment, alarm or distress is caused.

Nor would an offence of exposure or outraging public decency be applicable to simple naturist activities like sunbathing, where no intention to cause alarm or distress is involved.

The managers requested that naturists use common sense and avoid busier areas. So it is quite clear that we can be naked on Hampstead Heath.

Naturists already have greater freedom to enjoy Hampstead Heath than many of them perhaps realise.

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