|Legal status||Non-profit organisation|
|Purpose||Naturism in the UK|
|Affiliations||International Naturist Federation|
British Naturism (until 2009, Central Council for British Naturism) is a federation of naturist societies in the United Kingdom, and recognised by the International Naturist Federation as the official national naturist organisation in that country.
In the British legal context:
Naturism is used to describe the activities of persons who espouse nudity as part of their lifestyle. Whilst many naturists will restrict their activities to specially designated areas and/or places where there is a tradition of naked activity, such as nudist beaches, others may wish to enjoy nudity more widely.
- a lifestyle in harmony with nature, expressed through social nudity, and characterised by self-respect of people with different opinions and of the environment.
British Naturism traces its origins to 1891 when a short lived society called the 'Fellowship for the naked trust' was formed in British India. This trust had ideals and principles very similar to many later organisations.
The Camp was the first naturist club to be established in the United Kingdom. It was set up by someone known only as Moonella and existed at a country house near Wickford in Essex between 1924-1927. It was later replaced by a new venue called "The New Camp" near St. Albans. This and several others were able to form the BSBA in 1943.
English Gymnosophical Society
Harold Booth published articles pertaining to naturism in many magazines at the turn of the century, and in 1922 the English Gymnosophical Society (EGS) was formed as a direct result of his work. It had a site in Wickford, Essex, which it used during the summer, and in winter it held meetings in London. By 1926 the EGS was renamed the New Gymnosophy Society and had a site at Bricket Wood, Hertfordshire which has subsequently been used by many different clubs.
Concurrent to this, naturism was also practised at the Welsh Harp in Hendon, apparently from as early as 1921. From this sprang the National Sun and Air Association which ran national advertisement campaigns, as well as running a gymnasium in Westbourne Grove, London. By 1937, membership of this society was running at over 2000.
British Sun Bathers Association
In 1943 the British Sun Bathers Association (BSBA) was formed and became recognised as a national federation of clubs, which by 1951 had 51 member clubs or groups. However, by 1953, personal and ideological differences led to the formation of the rival Federation of British Sun Clubs (FBSC).
British Naturism (formerly CCBN)
Both organisations existed until their merger in 1964 to create the Central Council for British Naturism (CCBN). By 2006, CCBN was usually referred to as 'British Naturism' but officially changed the name to 'British Naturism' at the 2009 AGM. In 2009, it claimed a membership of about 13,000.
Notable milestones in the development of naturism in the United Kingdom included:
- 1957 - Naturist films shown in cinemas.
- 1958 - International Naturist Federation congress in Britain.
- 1965 - The hire of public baths for naturist swimming began.
- 1970 - International Naturist Federation congress in Britain.
- 1978 - International Naturist Federation congress in Britain, and the setting aside of officially designated naturist beaches.
- 2003 - Parliament repeals all offences that explicitly make nudity an offence.
- 2007 - Parliament repeals the enabling power for councils to make bye-laws regulating standards of clothing to be worn for bathing.
- 2008 - Opinion Poll on behalf of British Naturism shows the number of people in the UK who describe themselves as 'naturist' or 'nudist' to be 3.7 million.
- 2012 - First British Naturism National Convention held at Ilam Hall Youth Hostel
- 2013 - Second British Naturism Naturism National Convention held at Yarnfield Park Staffordshire
- 2016 - Third British Naturism National Convention held at the Melville Hotel, Blackpool, from 14th to 16th October
British Naturism has sought legal and political protection against discrimination for naturists in the United Kingdom, where an opinion poll in 2008 estimated the number of people describing themselves as naturist or nudist at 3.7 million . It also runs public facing campaigns, including Women in Naturism, which encourages women to try naturist activity, Bare all for polar bears which seeks to raise money for environmental conservation and The Great British Skinny Dip, which encourages costume free swimming events to be run, not just by naturist clubs, but also public pools, spas, lidos and natural settings such as lakes. The 2016 Great British Skinny Dip was held over the weekend of September 2nd to 4th, with around 30 locations hosting events.
Young British Naturists
British Naturism has an active youth group for naturists under 30 called Young British Naturists, usually shortened to YBN.
Notes and references
- The Agde definition. The INF is made up of representative of the Naturist Organisations in 32 countries, with 7 more having correspondent status.
- "Nudity in Public - Guidance on handling cases of Naturism". Crown Prosecution Service. 2014. Retrieved 20 April 2014.
- Start, Daniel (30 July 2014). "Skinny dipping is not a crime. Dive in". the Guardian. Retrieved 2016-03-22.
- Choin 2002.
- Worpole 2000, p. 45.
- Lily Rothman (2 February 2015). "This Is the Nudist Colony That Got a Downton Shout-Out". Time (magazine). Retrieved 2015-02-05.
- Sexual Offences Act 2003. London: OPSI. 2003-11-20.
- Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007 (PDF). London: OPSI. 2007-10-30.
- "Legislative Scrutiny: Equality Bill - Human Rights Joint Committee (Memorandum submitted by British Naturism)". Parliament of the UK. 27 October 2009. Retrieved 2014-09-07.
- "Bare all for polar bears". Yorkshire Wildlife Park Foundation. 2015. Retrieved 2016-04-20.
- "The Great British Skinny Dip". greatbritishskinnydip.co.uk. 2016. Retrieved 2016-04-20.