Naked rambler near Lothian nursery sparks fury and bewilderment

A STUNNED passerby told of her shock after spotting a naked man strolling through West Lothian woodland.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 5th March 2019, 7:36 pm
Updated Wednesday, 6th March 2019, 11:17 am

The disbelieving dog walker managed to snap a photograph of the unexpected sight as the mystery man brazenly made his way through Invy Park in Livingston yesterday.

She warned others to steer clear of the area and expressed concern at the bizarre behaviour close to Ladywell Nursery and Inveralmond High School.

“I couldn’t believe it. I am baffled - mentally scarred,” said the mother who took the photograph.

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The man was snapped walking in a patch of woodland in Livingston. Picture: contributed

“I walk there regularly with my dogs as do others it’s more the fact school kids use that same track to get to the school wouldn’t want my daughter seeing something like that.”

She said she wanted to “raise awareness” and avoid anyone else inadvertently stumbling across the naked walker.

He was snapped wearing nothing apart from a pair of shoes and socks, with a bag slung over one shoulder.

Bemused posters took to social media to speculate the dark-haired man’s motives for his lack of attire in temperatures of around five degrees.

Marion Jennings said: “Maybe had been on a stag do and they took his clothes ha ha definitely bizarre.”

And some backed the man’s brave act. Andrew Perry said: “I’m failing to see the issue here.

“All to often I’m reading fake news about issues that are just not relevant. Good on this man for expressing himself within the confides of nature.

“Who are we to say where and when someone should wear clothes?”

For many, the image conjured up memories of the UK’s most famous naturist, Stephen Gough, better known as the Naked Rambler.

The former Royal Marine shot to fame for walking from from Land’s End to John o’ Groats over 2003 and 2004 wearing only boots, socks, a rucksack and sometimes a hat.

He was arrested when trying again in 2005-06 and has spent much of the time since as a prisoner of conscience, including in Saughton.

Gough was arrested again in May 2006 at Edinburgh Airport after taking off his clothes during a flight from Southampton to Edinburgh and refusing to get dressed.

He was handed a seven-month jail sentence that August. The following April, he was cleared of charges related to his refusal to dress upon being released into Saughton Prison car park.

A spokesman for British Naturism described yesterday’s naked stroller as “brave” given the weather.

He added: “It is not a crime or offence to be naked in Scotland. Most true naturists are respectful and would carry a wrap for when they meet other people.”

Police confirmed they were called and officers searched the area.

A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: “Police in Livingston received a report of a man walking naked within a wooded area beside Scott Brae at around 9.55am on Tuesday 5th March. Inquiries into this matter are ongoing.”