If you go down to the woods a week to­day, you’re sure of a big sur­prise

Na­tur­ists plan mass naked ram­ble – with bless­ing of po­lice

The Scottish Mail on Sunday - - Femail - By Ju­lia Hor­ton

DOZENS of nud­ists are plan­ning to stage Scot­land’s first mass par­tic­i­pa­tion naked ram­ble.

Wear­ing only boots and back­packs, mem­bers of the Scot­tish branch of Bri­tish Na­tur­ism will head into the coun­try­side next week­end on the clothes-free hike.

The walk­ers are pre­pared to risk such Scot­tish spring haz­ards as early midges, sting­ing net­tles and un­cer­tain weather.

But one thing they are not wor­ried about is get­ting into trou­ble with the law.

Although the in­fa­mous Naked Ram­bler Stephen Gough has served nu­mer­ous prison sen­tences for do­ing ex­actly the same thing, next week’s event has been given the bless­ing of the po­lice.

The Scots na­tur­ists plan to troop out of the front door of the Glen­morag Ho­tel in Dunoon, Ar­gyll, be­fore head­ing to Morag’s Fairy Glen, a nearby beauty spot pop­u­lar with dog walk­ers and hol­i­day­mak­ers. Un­der Scots Law, be­ing naked in pub­lic is not in it­self a crime. But nud­ists can be found guilty of breach of the peace, as hap­pened re­peat­edly with the Naked Ram­bler, if they refuse to hide their nu­dity when asked to do so or if their pub­lic naked­ness is deemed to be caus­ing alarm or of­fence.

To avoid break­ing the law, all next week­end’s par­tic­i­pants will carry gar­ments to use as a quick ‘cover-up’ if they en­counter any chil­dren or any mem­bers of the pub­lic who ap­pear to be un­com­fort­able.

The week­end has be­come an an­nual fea­ture of the Scot­tish nud­ists’ so­cial cal­en­dar since it was launched four years ago but this will be the first time any of the hundred-plus mem­bers have left the con­fines of the ho­tel.

The or­gan­is­ers are ad­ver­tis­ing the event lo­cally in ad­vance. They also hope it will rep­re­sent an­other ‘small step’ in chang­ing at­ti­tudes to­wards na­tur­ism.

Or­gan­iser and Dunoon res­i­dent Ivan Gill, 67, said: ‘We got a very good re­cep­tion from lo­cal po­lice when we made them aware of our plans so they can let the gen­eral pub­lic know there is noth­ing il­le­gal or sin­is­ter go­ing on.

‘We won’t be vis­i­ble from the road or the play park on our way to the glen. It might well be that we will meet other peo­ple walk­ing in the glen. Our mem­bers all carry cover-ups and we have a strict pro­to­col of cov­er­ing up if we see chil­dren around or if any mem­ber of the pub­lic shows the slight­est con­cern.

‘It tends to be when na­tur­ists are walk­ing alone that peo­ple over­re­act. We un­der­stand that con­cern and I think walk­ing in a group we might ac­tu­ally get a bet­ter re­ac­tion.

‘We’re just do­ing what ev­ery­one else does on a Bank Hol­i­day week­end, go­ing out in the fresh air to en­joy a walk in the glen.

‘But it’s not just about hav­ing a great time, it’s about es­tab­lish­ing na­tur­ism as a nor­mal ac­tiv­ity.’

Other ac­tiv­i­ties in­clude boat rides, dances, talks and a Burns In The Buff Sup­per.

Glen­morag Ho­tel man­ager Frank Jou­bert said: ‘I re­mem­ber the first week­end was the talk of the town, which was not all very nice, but peo­ple are used to it now. The na­tur­ists are a very good crowd.’

A Po­lice Scot­land spokesman said: ‘We are aware of this planned event and have pro­vided ad­vice and guid­ance to the or­gan­is­ers.’

Visit-Scot­land de­scribes the glen as ‘a truly amaz­ing place where the sound of rustling leaves sug­gests the work of the fairies’.

‘Noth­ing il­le­gal or sin­is­ter go­ing on’

BAD NUDES:DE ES: Naked Ram­bler mbler Gough’s be­hav­iour is un­law­ful as he re­fuses to cover up. We’ve pre­served­served his mod­esty with a fig leaf Buthe’s def­i­nitely NOTin­vited

BEST FOOT FOR­WARD: Nud­ists want to change at­ti­tudes to na­tur­ism

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