Britain's nudists call for naturism to be a 'philosophical belief' under the law

Nudist at the beach.
Nudist at the beach. Photo credit: File

A naturist group is lobbying for protection under Britain's hate crime legislation, calling for the right to remain naked to be legally recognised as a "philosophical belief".

It is hoped the change will ensure nudists are no longer "abused in [their] day-to-day lives," British Naturism's president Mark Bass told the Mail on Sunday.

"These days we all agree that shouting abuse at somebody because of the colour of their skin, their sexual preference or their religion is not acceptable," Bass told the outlet.

"Yet naturists still receive that type of abuse based on their dress code... everybody should have the freedom to choose how they dress, including if that choice is to wear nothing at all."

Bass said one naturist recently had a dog set on him.

"It's not uncommon for a naturist to receive abuse from a neighbour or when out walking," he wrote on British Naturism's website.

"You would be upset if somebody shouted abuse or threatened you because they did not like the colour of your shirt - we would prefer not to receive such abuse for not wearing a shirt."

The group, which represents around 9000 nudists, has established a task force headed by a former acting Chief Constable to lobby a Law Commission consultation on hate crime later this year, the Mail on Sunday reports.

In a statement, the Crown Prosecution Service highlighted the importance for a balance between the right to freedom of expression and the wider public's right to be protected from "harassment, alarm and distress."

According to British Naturism's Facebook page, upcoming events for members include a naked 'Call my Buff' pub quiz, a naked dinner outing, a naked Sunday lunch and naked bowling.