Naturists celebrate as nudity ban lifted on Norfolk beach

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Naturists celebrate as nudity ban lifted on Norfolk beach
Naturists celebrate as nudity ban lifted on Norfolk beach

Naturists in the UK are celebrating after a ban on nudity at Holkham beach in Norfolk has been lifted.

The western section of the beach has long been a hotspot for nudists, but the Crown Estate, which owns the beach, decided to ban naturism from 1 July 2013 after a series of complaints from locals to police about anti-social behaviour and public indecency.

The 10,000-strong British Naturism group said any indecent behaviour was down to a "small minority of troublemakers" and, after taking legal advice, got the ban lifted after contacting the Crown Estate warning they would be seeking a judicial review.

A statement on the British Naturism website said: "We are pleased to announce that the ban on Naturism on the beach at Holkham below mean high water has been lifted by The Crown Estate with immediate effect.

"A week or so ago we sent a formal letter, prepared by David Wolfe QC, to The Crown Estate setting out the legal arguments as the first step towards judicial review. The Crown Estate letter informing us that they had lifted the ban arrived only minutes before we were going to sign the contract engaging Bindmans to prepare the papers for judicial review.

"As far as we know, the ban by Holkham Estate, who own the dunes and the beach above mean high water, remains in force."

David Horton-Fawkes, estates director at the Holkham Estate, told the Eastern Daily Press: "We are aware that the Crown Estate has reversed its decision about nudism on the beach following the threat of judicial review by a small group of naturists.

"Until now the ban on nudism had stopped the illegal activity that has plagued the beach. We can only hope that this decision does not re-open the door to those who have ruined this part of the Nature Reserve for the vast majority of beach users."

He added that the ban on nudism on Holkham Estate land remains in place.

When the ban was announced in June, Sarah Henderson, Holkham Estate's conservation manager, told the Mirror: "It is sad we have been forced to take this step due to the persistent anti-social behaviour of a minority of people.

"The management and control of these activities has been an increasing concern to me and my team who look after the reserve so we have had to take action to ban all nudism."

According to the BBC, some complaints of indecency included people having sex in the dunes.

Holkham beach is part of the Holkham National Nature Reserve, which attracts more than 500,000 visitors a year.

It has been the backdrop for a number of film and TV projects, including the final scenes for the Gwyneth Paltrow movie Shakespeare In Love, as well as featuring in the video for the All Saints' hit Pure Shores.

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