[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 August 2006, 16:44 GMT 17:44 UK
Naturists banned in gay sex fear
A nudist sitting on a beach
Naturists have long enjoyed the area's seclusion
Naturists have been banned from a stretch of north Cornwall beach and dunes because of concerns that it is attracting gay people looking for sex.

The northern end of Perran Sands has been used as an unofficial naturist beach for more than 40 years.

But the Ministry of Defence (MoD), which has a camp nearby, a local holiday park and Perranzabuloe Parish Council have agreed a ban.

Military and civilian police will patrol the area to ensure the cover up.

Major Michael Pawlak, commandant of Penhale Camp, said: "Naturists are not the problem, it is the perverts they attract that are the problem."

The authorities should be getting rid of the voyeurs, not the naturists
Brian Williams, Central Council of British Naturists
He said on one occasion a naked man had approached juniors training with a cadet group.

On another occasion two men were seen in the dunes engaged in "inappropriate" behaviour, and a man was seen peeping at the naturists.

Cadets and schoolchildren were among the 6,000 people a year using the Penhale training area.

Maj Pawlak said: "The overriding factor is the Ministry of Defence's responsibility for the welfare of young persons in its care.

"Homosexuality is not the issue, but we have gay single men cottaging for business in dunes where there are children playing and training."

Full of naked men

Frances White, chairman of the parish council beach committee, said there had been more "peeping toms" as the numbers of naturists had increased.

She said there had also been instances of women walking along the South West Coast paths, which runs through the area, to be confronted "by a beach full of naked men, which is a little bit daunting".

When naturists began to use the three-mile stretch of beach 40 years ago it was considered remote, but now it was used by walkers, surfers and families, she said.

Brian Williams of the Central Council of British Naturists said the authorities should be clamping down in the interlopers.

He said: "This was one of the first areas that was used by naturists and it's very, very sad to hear that it has been made off-limits.

"The authorities should be getting rid of the voyeurs, not the naturists.

"Why should the naturists suffer?"

Naturists fight under-18 swim ban
21 Apr 05 |  Cambridgeshire

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific