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I have been regularly woken and harassed by National Trust employees

June 1999

And now, a letter from Dean Watson who has moved from Poole and now happily makes the trek from Southampton to Studland whenever he has a day off. He says it doesn't take long on his Kawasaki - which makes short work of traffic hold-ups. Rather you than me, pal - I don't like motorbikes at all!!

Dear SUN,

Receiving TBE7- for which congratulations and many thanks -reminded me that I had intended to write in response to Mary Smith's letter in TBE6. (I have been rather busy over the last eighteen months, studying for further qualifications, and I'm afraid I have fallen behind with quite a few things.)

I was quite impressed with Mary's arguments, which echo my own feelings about the policing and wardening of Studland. Because I work long hours, with frequent night duties, I like to go over and sleep while sunbathing, thus killing two birds with one stone. I've been doing this for years, since I first started nursing, and until a few years ago I was never disturbed. I have a favourite spot away from the crowds in a secluded and little-used area, and although other people occasionally pass close to me I have never been disturbed - until the last two years. Since then, I have been regularly woken and harassed by National Trust employees who behave in the most aggressive manner, and by police acting as National Trust mouthpieces. In the case of the latter, to avoid being dragged away to Swanage Police Station I usually 'cover up' until they have gone, which many people might think is perfectly acceptable - but why should I have to? I'm not doing anything wrong, and I'm nowhere near a public footpath, so until a member of the public makes a specific complaint about my presence and/or nudity, there is no reason for the police to get involved. As far as the National Trust are concerned, I am afraid that they have ruined my day on more than one occasion by their overbearing intrusion into my privacy, and I find myself packing up and going home.

The National Trust and English Nature between them have done the impossible - they have created an eyesore from one of the most beautiful and peaceful areas in the country. Why they can't just leave things alone is beyond me. They are, beyond any shadow of doubt, the worst thing that has ever happened to Studland. I'm glad we have SUN members, particularly those on the Board, who are prepared to stand up to those who are trying to wreck our enjoyment and drive us away, and I am heartened by people such as Mary Smith who are not afraid to voice their feelings. (I quite understand Mary's reluctance to reveal her real name -there are some police who would make her life, and her husband's, unbearable if they found out about her view of their behaviour.) I also agree with Ron Kermode's comment in TBE7 - an eminently sensible point of view!

I was very interested to read the police letter that you enclosed with TBE7. It looks as if the police are beginning to see sense over Studland, and that letter looks like an admission that they are fed up with parroting the National Trust's policies. Perhaps the National Trust will realise that they can no longer count on the police to enforce the unenforceable and will see the sense of SUN Group's position. Perhaps this summer will see a return to our erstwhile peaceful enjoyment of Studland, with no bullying from either the police or the National Trust. I hope so, anyway - my studies are coming to an end and I shall be doing a lot of revising this summer, so hassle from self-important nonentities is the last thing I need!

Keep up the good work, which really is appreciated by most of Studland's nudist visitors, even if they don't often say so!

Dean Watson

Our thanks to Dean for yet another good letter, further supporting our position. And good luck with the exams!

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