Naked sunbathing plea for Hampstead Heath
By abi_silvester | Thursday, April 08, 2010, 13:37
As forecasters tentatively predict the warmest temperatures of the year for this weekend, we can all confidently foresee increase in the amount of bare flesh on display. But campaigners in Hampstead are hoping for something a little more extreme than belly tops and sandals: they want to be able to sunbathe naked on the Heath.
Hampstead Heath has always attracted those who like to be close to nature...
The group of naturists have selected the Cohen's Field area, located between Kenwood House and Highgate, where they say there is demand for a designated nudist area. Their campaign has gained support from gay rights activist Peter Tatchell and comedian Julian Clary. It follows a similar campaign to establish a similar area close to the male-only swimming pool, which was rejected by the City of London Corporation in March.
At present, the only areas of the Heath where nudity is permitted is in the changing areas of the ponds. These have become crowded, having turned into a makeshift sunbathing area for naturists.
The petition has so far received over 1000 signatures, but there's a sizeable opposition to the proposal from local residents and regular visitors to the Heath. Those not impressed by the idea include the Kenwood Ladies' Pond Association and the Highgate Lifebuouys.
How do you feel about the idea of a small nudist 'colony' on Hampstead Heath? Would it make a difference if it was clearly signposted to avoid unfortunate encounters?