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
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