'Starkers in the middle of Colwick Woods nature reserve' - naturist spotted near playground

General view of entrance to Colwick Woods local nature reserve in Sneinton/Sneinton Dales/Bakersfield, Nottingham, with green signage and pathway leading up
-Credit: (Image: Nottingham Post)

A man spotted naked in Nottingham has divided opinion among those living nearby. The unidentified naturist, who is said to walk his dog in the area, has been reported for years in the Colwick Woods local nature reserve, in the Dales between Sneinton and Bakersfield.

Long periods will often go by between reports of sightings of the man. But on Wednesday, June 19, a post in a local Facebook group reported he had been seen again.

It said: "A busy area with lots of children playing this afternoon. There is an old man walking around here naked. Police have been contacted."

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The issue has long split the local community, with some defending the man, saying he means no harm, and others criticising him for walking unclothed so close to a local playground. The case was the same in the comments under this post.

But Dales Labour councillor David Mellen, the former Nottingham City Council leader, says the issue bothers him and that he has been trying to sort it out for years. He said: "The police have been involved but apparently just by walking around with no clothes on he's not committing a crime. That is rather strange to me, because if he had a raincoat on, but he then flashed it at people, apparently that would be a crime.

"What the police have done before is told him he should not go near the children's playground on Greenwood Road and should not go near the Nottingham Academy, particularly at the start and the end of the school day. But I don't know that they can enforce that.

"I'm not happy about it. I think in an area like Sneinton and Bakersfield, which is very multi-cultural, some people might be fine seeing a man that's starkers in the middle of the nature reserve. But some people are really not. And I wish the law were different to say: if you're on a nudist beach, that's fine, or in the comfort of your own house or even your own garden, that's fine, but not in a public park in my view. But that's not what the law says."

Cllr Mellen said that he had not had a report of the man being seen in the past week, but that the issue was frequently discussed at local meetings. He said that most people were aware that very little could be done.

The law, according to the Crown Prosecution Service website, says: "In the absence of any sexual context and in relation to nudity where the person has no intention to cause alarm or distress it will normally be appropriate to take no action unless members of the public were actually caused harassment, alarm or distress."

NottinghamshireLive contacted Nottinghamshire Police for comment.