Not bothering with clothes has been a trend in lockdown, so what is it about going naked that people enjoy? Julie Lucas bares all at a St Albans naturist site to try and find out
‘Oh my god mum, what are you doing?’ I’ve just gone into my teenage daughter’s room as I would on any other day, only this time I have no clothes on. She’s not impressed. But during the pandemic it seems we have shed our inhibitions and with them, our clothes.
In May The Great British Take Off, a British Naturism initiative, encouraged people to ‘furlough their clothes’. During lockdown the organisation reported a 100 per cent rise in interest in naturism.
Tucked away in the village of Bricket Wood near St Albans is a whole naturist community. Spielplatz – the name means playground in German – has been quietly going about its naked business for 90 years.
It was begun by Charles Macaskie and his wife Dorothy and is one of the oldest naturist resorts in England (the oldest is just down the road, also in Bricket Wood; Fiveacres Country Club which opened three years earlier).
The couple’s aim was to create a family-friendly community open to anyone who respected the naturist way of life. Remarkably, their daughter Iseult, aged 88, still lives at the site. She recalls her childhood as ‘endless summer days, running naked in the sunshine with my sisters and 12 acres of wild beautiful woodland’.
She adds, ‘People often get the idea that we didn’t wear clothes at all and that isn’t the case. We lived just like anybody else, the only difference was, that when they were sitting out in the gardens with perhaps a bathing costume or shorts and top, I would be sitting out with nothing on.’
But what happens if you have teenagers, as I do, who would certainly not feel comfortable about the whole ethos?
Source: Great British Life
Original publication 20 August, 2020
Posted on NatCorn 13th April 2021
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