Topless tourist on St Cyrus Beach

St Cyrus NNR. Grampian Area. �Lorne Gill/SNH
St Cyrus NNR. Grampian Area. �Lorne Gill/SNH

The unlikely sighting of a topless tourist on St Cyrus beach has caused a huge stir on Facebook and Twitter.

Summer seemed to arrive and end on the same day on Thursday (August 13) when everyone and their dog descended on the beaches.

The unwitting visitor who was seen walking along the sand in the sunshine would cause hardly a stir on the continent, but is the Mearns ready for such a scene?

The sight of anyone without clothing in the North-east is such a rare occurrence that, whether legal or not, credit is given for their hardiness and temperature control.

The law in the UK on public nudity and nude sunbathing is a bit of a grey area. In theory, it is perfectly legal as long as one does not “harass, alarm or distress” others.

There is a list of official and unofficial naturist beaches in the UK which should help any prospective naturists to avoid causing offence, but the nearest beach is in Fife at Dumbarnie Links where nudists can be regularly seen enjoying nature.

The St Cyrus incident, it appears, is not a one off, although there have been precious few chances this year for such exposure to the elements.

Therese Alampo, St Cyrus Nature Reserve manager, told us she was unaware of the carefree woman, but said: “While conducting our Small Blue Butterfly Survey at the end of July we came upon a naked man sunbathing with his wife.

“He didn’t look threatening so we skirted around the couple and carried on with the butterfly survey.”

Therese told us she was not sure of the law associated with this type of behaviour and said she was unaware of any Scottish Natural Heritage guidelines on the topic.

St Cyrus Nature Reserve has been a hive of activity this year with 16 events either successfully completed or planned for the rest of the summer.