Page last updated at 12:55 GMT, Friday, 30 January 2009

Naked ramblers face Swiss fines

Naked ramblers
The canton is keen to stamp out nude hiking before the summer

A local Swiss government plans to take action against a sudden and apparently unwelcome phenomenon - naked hikers.

Authorities in the canton of Appenzell Innerrhoden plan to introduce fines for anyone found walking in the picturesque mountain region without any clothes.

They decided to act before this year's hiking season began, after noticing a sudden influx of nudists last year - many of them from Germany.

"FKK", or "free body culture", is a popular pastime in Germany.

But Appenzell Innerrhoden is not keen to encourage its spread.

"We were forced to introduce the legislation against this indecent practice before the warm weather starts," said Melchior Looser, justice minister in the canton in north-eastern Switzerland.

"The point is many children visit our mountains in the summer," he told he Guardian newspaper.

A naked hiker was detained last autumn, but could not be fined as naked rambling was not outlawed, he said - hence the need for a new law.

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