Holkham Bay is back to normal and beach naturism is thriving once again with beach-goers being able to enjoy the area, free from harassment from the Holkham Estate Management.
Friday 13th June 2014 was an exceptionally warm day which saw the formerly designated/de-designated naturist area being used entirely 'as nature intended' with around 50 naturists using the beach.
One year ago, the Holkham Estate Management, in conjunction with Natural England and with support from Norfolk Police, devised a plan to eradicate naturist use of the area. This involved the erection of signs which implied that naturism was illegal, along with conducting regular patrols by Holkham Estate staff who were telling beach users that if they did not dress, the police would be called and they would be arrested. The police were also in regular attendance to ensure that beach users complied with the demands of the Holkham Estate Management. Those who refused were ordered to leave the beach. As far as we know, no arrests were ever made. This is because naturism is not illegal.
Once the legal position was outlined by British Naturism (the national naturist organisation) to Natural England (who manage the foreshore on behalf of the Crown Estate) The ban was withdrawn and naturism was declared lawful on the entire stretch of beach, below mean high water.
[Note: I have since been advised that it was the Crown Estate who lifted the ban following the very real threat of legal repercussion]
This presented the Holkham Estate Management with a bigger problem than they started with. Having de-designated the small naturist area and attempting to ban naturist use, they had in effect publicly opened up the entire beach to naturism.
Going by the signs currently on display (see image above), the Holkham Estate Management's attitude appears to have now changed dramatically. Rather then implying that naturism is illegal, they are now politely asking naturists to keep within the signed area and stressing that naturism is not permitted in the dunes and pinewood area. While naturism may not be 'permitted' in the dunes and pinewood area, that does not make it illegal either. Most naturists will of course respect the wishes of Holkham Estate and stay out of the dunes and pinewood area as a trade-off for having the beach re-designated once again.