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SUN Campaign History - Jun 1996

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Nudists stand up to 'fake' National Trust 'Warden'

13 June 1996. Suspicious of someone who had been hanging around all day, spying with binoculars on nudists in the dunes and apparently using a walkie-talkie, SUN member Richard, outside the red posts and au naturel, approached him. The man, dressed in a black tracksuit with a baseball cap bearing a National Trust logo (although not the same as those worn by wardens), said to Richard "You should have your shorts on". Our member, suspicious of the man's unconventional attire, asked him "Are you a National Trust warden?" The man replied in the affirmative and said that he was and that he was working for Geoff Hann. Richard asked to see some identification. At first he refused, saying that he was not required to produce any ID, but eventually, after repeated requests, he rummaged in his black backpack and produced a dog-eared card which appeared to show that he was National Trust staff. He continued to protest that he was not required to produce ID, but was unable to specify any regulation which conferred such a right of anonymity. Our member went off to seek out some real wardens, whereupon the impostor decamped into the wilderness. Luckily, however, two real wardens were quickly found and accompanied Richard into the hinterland to seek him out. When he was located, apparently in the process of trying to pick up a young man, he tried to run away on seeing the wardens, but his escape was baulked by another SUN member, Dave, and the wardens were able to catch up with him and questioned him. It appears that he does work for the National Trust, but NOT on the Purbeck Estate and NOT as a warden - he is a caterer on Brownsea Island. He was cautioned at the scene by the two wardens and told he would be reported for further action. The wardens told him that "this is a sensitive area" and that his behaviour was causing annoyance to legitimate beach users. They then left the area.

We have subsequently discovered that the National Trust is highly embarrassed by the incident - as one of the real wardens agreed, there is enough bad feeling as it is, without this man stirring up more. It remains to be seen what they will do about it, but SUN will be pressing the National Trust management for details which will be passed on in the next Update and in STARKERS as soon as we have them. This is not the first time this particular unsavoury character has been spotted. Over the last few years, he has caused irritation and distress to many beach users by his antics. In the past, his activities have been mainly confined to the northern end of the beach, but now that he has been exposed he may (after a brief absence until he thinks the heat has died down) transfer his attentions to the southern end, so watch out for him. He is about 50, 6' tall and of fairly slim build. He is almost totally bald but this fact is usually concealed by his headgear. He normally wears a tracksuit, usually black or other dark colour, and a dark coloured cap with a National Trust logo. Typically, he sits on a high point or ridge and spies on people in the dunes, using binoculars. He usually has with him a black or dark green backpack, and has on his belt what appears to be a walkie-talkie but is in fact a scanner. From time to time, or when he is being observed, he pretends to use this as a walkie-talkie.

Real wardens ALWAYS wear a uniform and will ALWAYS show ID

We have been assured by the wardens that they ALWAYS wear uniform green polo shirts and they are ALWAYS willing to prove their identity. They also tell us that UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES would they behave in the way Lawrence has been. (Pause for you to raise your eyebrows quizzically !) Nevertheless, this man's assertion that he works for our long-time antagonist Geoff Hann is deeply disturbing: if he is not in any way accredited in Purbeck, why should he be so insistent that he works for Hann ? Surely Mr. Hann would not resort to such underhand tactics as employing pseudo-wardens to spy on nudists ? Would he ?

SUN's advice is to keep your eyes open and your wits about you, and if you spot this lunatic, summon a real warden immediately.


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