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Some Amusing and Serious Truths about Studland

December 1999

Dear SUN,

I have enjoyed Studland for around thirty years and have watched it go from a static, peaceful wilderness under the reign of Ralph Bankes, to the commercial mess now created by the National Trust and its partner in crime, English Nature.

Since the sudden appearance of the red posts and the red herring known as Heather Walk, there has been a great deal of incorrect information and fairy tales (no pun intended, boys!) given to the public at Studland by the National Trust and the local bobbies, in order to justify and enforce the new barbaric restrictions.

Ralph Bankes did not like nudists at Studland?
Friends who knew him socially confirm that frankly, my dears, he didn't give a damn. He was (unlike the National Trust) more concerned about camping in the dunes - and I don't mean in the gay sense. Unlike the new regime, he was not in the least homophobic or nudiphobic. In his time, having a gay time just meant having a great time on the beach.

You can be arrested if you go beyond the red posts?
No! The same criminal laws apply whichever side your arse is on. No-one at all has been arrested for simply walking, running, standing, sitting, lying down, picking his nose, licking his fingers, being asleep (standing up or lying down) or breaking wind in the nude beyond the red posts. I know this from personal experience.

You can be arrested for having an erection?
Having an erection (Viagra is no defence in law!), flashing from behind your clothes like some perverted textile, stalking someone and playing with your "toy" could be an offence under criminal law, even if furtively and pervertedly viewed through powerful binoculars from the "bird hide" on the hill. The only crude and obscene erections allowed at Studland are red or yellow topped posts. They are not yet covered by criminal law.

The local police in support of the National Trust - who finance them generously every year (in a charitable manner, for the policeman's ball, you understand) - could, of course, find an obscure reason to arrest you if you refuse their request to go back into the National Trust corral. Unless you can prove you are a lawyer, it may well be advisable to dress: you may, like so many nudists before you, return to the harmless pastime of nudism, after they have rushed off for an urgent tea break, or have been reluctantly dragged away from their beach time in order to deal with much less serious crimes such as muggings, break-ins, stolen cars or the occasional murder.

Call it luck if you will but if this year is anything to go by, for me at least things are improving: I am experiencing less hassle resulting from my continued colour blindness to the red posts. Could it be that the National Trust is running out of money (charitably donated!) to finance extra wardens, new vehicles and fuel at Studland, to fight the growing menace of wandering nudists and SUN Group?

As has been my practice for thirty years, I have continued to enjoy the freedom of Studland for several months this year. I have at least two walks a day through parts of the traditional nudist area (which now includes He-at-her Walk with its enchanting, colourful yellow top posts - many of them artistically streaked with rust from the scaffold poles from which they are made - which are a constant delight to look at). I also walk nude to the dunes near the lake and meet fellow nudists, all of us sunbathing in peace far from the National Trust Textile Commandos.

I continue to find that the only people (mentally?) disturbed by nudists are those paid by the National Trust. More than likely it remains the case, as it has for the past five years, that any "complaints" received by the National Trust do not relate to simple nudism. Most will relate to the word "Stud" Land, which may attract some people by its apparent horniness. "Heather View" would not have quite the same connotation! I wonder if it was Ralph Bankes who gave it that name? Whatever, the wardens continue daily to wear out the route of Heather Walk looking for stray nudists, naughty fairies massing up their posts, or gypsies selling lucky Studland heather without a National Trust licence.

Unlike previous years when I have experienced regular intimidation, rudeness, threats (which anywhere else would be classed as criminal) from the untrained and in some cases unscreened psychopathic wardens, I have this year only been approached once, by two goons. Seeing me standing beyond the red posts talking to someone else, also without clothing, these two - possibly seeking to justify their authoritative looking "uniform" -approached us, feasting their eyes on my scrumptious body. One of them told us both to get back inside the red posts. "No", I said. "Are you going to move?" he asked. "No", I replied. He persevered: "Are you going to put your shorts on" I responded "No. I have committed no criminal offence - you know that and I know that." Defeated like Goliath, they slunk away.

I continued my interrupted conversation with my fellow nudist, who applauded my actions. He then said he would join SUN Group and cancel his National Trust membership. Well done, National Trust! Each time you harass a nudist for being outside the red posts, it's another member for SUN Group and frequently one less for you! So to all nudists at Studland I would say this: hard as it may be, be polite, stand your ground, know your rights, state them clearly, and keep your cool. In spite of their official looking outfits, the wardens do not have the authority of the police. They are not entitled to know your name and you do not have to tell them. They are, however, instructed to give you theirs - in fact, they are supposed to wear name badges - although they are reluctant to do either. Remember, you are no more breaking the law than a textile with a jockstrap on.

I have been spotted by the local bobbies about three times this year (possibly more, with their high powered surveillance binoculars) within the traditional area but outside of the "official" area, which is within the traditional area (if you get what I mean). They closely watched my movements (although I do not mince) as if I was a criminal about to commit a crime against humanity. But, unlike the last few years, they did not approach me on behalf of the National Trust. Perhaps they already have my mug shot on the dartboard in the Studland War Room? Or did my dark, all-over tanned, shapely body show them that I am a genuine naturist out to enjoy the perverted pleasure of uniting my body and soul with the natural surroundings? A word of warning, though: they still approach with suspicion white bottomed nudists who may be textiles just sitting on the fence - or should that be the red posts?

The tactics adopted by the National Trust and nudists since the red post restrictions can be quite amusing to watch and will no doubt continue into the next century, as long as the obscene red posts remain erect and exposed at Studland. But it all adds to the colour of the beach and that includes the gaily coloured red and yellow posts, bright blue signs and cheerful flags of all sorts that adorn Studland, and which clash delightfully against the backdrop of the beach, dunes and heathland, reflecting the modern image the National Trust wishes to portray. In the long term, this Tom Sharpe farce will go down in the history of Studland. Ralph Bankes, spinning in his grave past the year 2000, is part of the better history of Studland.

SUN Group will also become a Studland legend, having achieved a great deal of media coverage of nudism - all as a result of the National Trust's actions. The National Trust is past history for a lot of its former members, who have seen the damage it has done to Studland and its complete an utter disregard for public opinion and nudists' rights. In spite of the continued glossy charitable impression they spin to the media and the general public that they have "given" nudists a part of the beach, they have in fact given us nothing that we did not already have. They have created an "official" nudist area within the established nudist area, so we now have two in one! At the end of the day, whilst we all know the law can be an ass - especially when influenced by the National Trust at Studland - criminal law is the same whichever side of the red posts you and I choose to go.

Let us therefore continue, determined as before, to enjoy the freedom of the traditional nudist area for ever and everyone, without fear (like the biblical David) of the Goliath of Studland, the National Trust. That way the SUN will always shine for you and me at Studland

A Edunnam

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