Skinnydippers will be stripping off this weekend, despite controversy.
One of Stoke-on-Trent’s wildest annual calendar entries is set to go ahead this weekend, despite both Coronavirus fears and protests against it.
The event, which has been described by Waterworld as the ‘biggest waterpark event of the year’, welcomes naturist families annually to strip off during their visit, where they’re able to swim and make use of the many slides while completely butt-naked. Organised by British Naturism, the event usually attracts around 300 people per year.
As well as attracting keen nudists of all ages, however, the event has also stirred up quite a bit of controversy – with a number of people protesting against the event and expressing concerns for the children in attendance. Now, despite both the ongoing pandemic and criticism, British Naturism has confirmed this Saturday’s event will be going ahead in an email to its members.
Commenting on criticism, British Naturism has said in a statement seen by StokeonTrentLive: “British Naturism is an organisation that has been in existence for over 50 years with many of our clubs being even older. We have a membership of 9,000 over 18s.
“We take our safeguarding and health and safety responsibility seriously and review our practices in advance of every event we run.
“We have a robust child and vulnerable adults safeguarding policy – it’s actually rather ignorant of the complainers to assume that we don’t. It was developed in conjunction with the NSPCC and is reviewed annually.
“We also have a strict ‘no cameras’ rule with any photographs to record the event only being taken by our official photographer, who follow certain guidelines about what can be taken.
“Children at our events are always supervised by their parents and not allowed to attend unaccompanied – unlike schools, churches, scouts, play areas and other venues where parents opt to leave their children in the care of others.
Waterworld owner Mo Chaudry adds: “It’s time to set the record straight and get this situation into perspective.
“British Naturism is a perfectly law-abiding organisation which has been hiring our venue – and many similar sites across the UK – for private swimming events for more than 20 years. In all that time, the Waterworld sessions have passed off happily and peacefully, and we have never had any reasons for concern.
“It’s important to point out that these events are completely private. They are not open to anyone to simply walk in off the street. They are restricted to the organisation’s members and pre-registered guests, and no children attend without parents or guardians.
“I am not a naturist, but I fiercely defend the rights of those who choose to be. It is not Waterworld’s role to be judge and jury on a matter where no laws of the land are being broken [and] we hire out our venue to a wide range of different groups for their private functions.
“The morally right thing to do is for us to continue giving our full support to British Naturism, which has exactly the same rights to hire our facility as any other law-abiding organisation.”
[Featured image: Waterworld, Stoke-on-Trent]