Chairman's letter suspending involvement with National Trust
4th March 1998
Letter to The National Trust:
On the several occasions that we have met with you and others over
the imposition of an artificial border around the traditional nudist
area of Studland, our hopes of reaching an amicable and workable
solution have been repeatedly raised and then dashed.
As a consequence of attending these negotiations the SUN group feel,
quite strongly, that those who oppose SUN have wilfully misrepresented
the SUN case, and maligned its committee and members. Those who have an
interest in the affairs of Studland Beach have only ever received a
jaundiced view of the situation on Studland, and the SUN group itself,
from the Trust's press officers and from officers of the CCBN.
While we accept we are not the voice of every beach user on Studland,
we are confident that we are more in-touch with beach affairs and nudist
users than any other organisation - including the National Trust and the
CCBN. Our rapidly expanding membership shows increasing determination
and widening support for our campaign for the removal of the red-topped
boundary and the relocation of Heather Walk.
Nudist use of Studland beach is both historical arid substantial.
Nudist residents and all year round visitors make a big financial
contribution to the economy of Dorset as a whole, the Purbeck region,
and Studland village in particular.
We have tried to impress upon you that if things are left pretty much
as they have been for decades there is no reason why this happy
arrangement and peaceful coexistence should not continue for many years
to come. Despite our considerable research on alternative routes for
Heather Walk, and our attendance at these meetings, we find ourselves no
further down the road than two years ago. We have found ourselves
embroiled in side issue debates on the physical management of the
Studland landscape, which are interesting, but of no relevance to our
claim for the re-siting of Heather Walk.
We have also involved ourselves in fruitless argument, often opposing
the bigotry and intolerance of misguided or blatantly prejudiced
critics, on the moral laxity of some beach users - particularly those
men and women who use the beach for public sexual intercourse. We have
stated repeatedly that we condemn public sex and have pointed out that
most of the offensive activity is carried out by men and women who are
not nudist users of the dunes or the beach.
We accept that Studland beach and dunes are evolving under natural
forces and these actions promote some change in arrangements for human
use. But the current boundary and the divisive Heather Walk are
management impositions that have no correlation with natural evolution
in the dunes. We note and largely disapprove of the development and
financial 'optimising' of this National Trust asset.
However, our main concern is to secure for our members the removal of
the imposed boundary and the re-routing of Heather Walk. Until a genuine
attempt to show us that this demand is taken seriously, and is to be
acted upon in a decisive way by the Trust, the SUN group feel unable to
continue offering our attendance and support for these liaison meetings.
If your answer is in the negative and you have no intention
whatsoever of moving the red posts and re-siting Heather Walk we would
wish for you to say so now. If on the other hand you have a definite
plan to hand which we can discuss today then let's discuss it.
If we remain in limbo, as we were at our December meeting, then we
have no alternative but to suspend our involvement. We will then go back
to our membership, who are determined to see the removal of the
boundary, and who fully support us in our approach to these
negotiations, and advise them of the outcome
for and on behalf of SUN Group