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Deliberate policy of discrimination against naturists

June 1999

And now a letter from someone who, at the time he wrote, was not a SUN member. He may have joined by the time of publication, in which case he will recognise his words, but for the time being we will preserve his anonymity and say simply that he writes from Yateley:

Dear SUN,

My wife and I have been enjoying the naturist beach at Studland for many years but feel that it is being spoiled by the National Trust since they began 'organising' it over the last few years.

There appears to be a deliberate policy of discrimination against naturists with the intention of driving us away. So when I saw your advert on the Sandbanks Ferry I decided it was time to stand up and be counted.

The introduction of the dog ban really spoiled our family holiday last year. In the past, my wife and I have been able to sit on the water's edge with our dog all day, and watch over our children playing in the sea. Now, we have to sit in the dunes where we cannot always see our children and if anything happens we are a long way from them. We feel particularly aggrieved that the National Trust has deliberately forced this dangerous situation upon us, especially when non-nudists have three huge areas where they can sit on the beach with their dogs. Why can't naturists have a small area at one end of the beach where we can sit with our dogs? It would be easy to police and the cost would be three or four signposts (covered by my National Trust subscription).

Anonymous from Yateley

An interesting point, which l am rather surprised has not been raised by anyone else - or maybe there are simply no other SUN members who have both children and dogs? It is certainly something that the National Trust should have considered when trying to impose their vindictive anti-nudist policies. We sent this writer an application form and added a note to the covering letter that, in our opinion, the National Trust had no power to ban dogs from the water's edge because it is a public right of way (the South West Coastal Path, a Public Footpath which is marked on the Definitive Map at County Hall).

The following is the policy the National Trust would like dog owners to adhere to: 

Dogs on Studland Beach

The majority of beaches on the south coast prohibit dogs in the summer. The National Trust allows dogs onto parts of the beach all year. Please observe the restrictions.

1st Monday in September to end April inclusive:
Access to all beaches

May 1st to last Friday in June:
Access to beaches, but dogs must be on leads

Last Saturday in June to first Sunday in September inclusive:
Knoll Beach: Dogs NOT permitted on the beach
Middle Beach: Dogs NOT permitted on the beach
South Beach: Dogs on leads permitted
Shell Bay: Dogs on leads permitted

Information leaflet available from car park kiosks and visitor centre. Please clean up after your dog. Poop scoops are available at Knoll Beach Visitor Centre. Dog bins are provided.

As stated above, we believe the National Trust has no power to ban dogs from the water's edge because the South West Coastal Path is a Public Footpath which is marked on the Definitive Map at County Hall.

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