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English Gymnosophical Society

British Naturism
British Naturism logo 2018.jpg
Abbreviation BN
Legal status Non-profit organisation
Purpose Naturism in the UK
Region served
UK naturists
Nick Caunt
Judith Stinchcombe
Main organ
Executive Council
Affiliations International Naturist Federation

British Naturism (until 2009, Central Council for British Naturism) is a members organisation with both individual and organisation members. It promotes Naturism in the United Kingdom, and it is 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.

The law recognises that a balance needs to be struck between the naturist's right to freedom of expression and the right of the wider public to be protected from harassment, alarm and distress.

As a member of the International Naturist Federation, British Naturism adopted the 1974 Declaration Agde that states that naturism is:

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 British Sun Bathers Association in 1943.

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.

a lifestyle in harmony with nature, expressed through social nudity, and characterised by self-respect of people with different opinions and of the environment.
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 National Convention held at Yarnfield Park Staffordshire
2016 - Third British Naturism National Convention held at the Melville Hotel, Blackpool, from 14 to 16 October


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