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Beach shortening protest

In 2002 Vera Council erected signs and a rock/garden barricade on the beach at Vera Playa to indicate what the Council declared to be the southern boundary of the naturist beach. This action was quickly denounced as illegal by naturists who own properties at Vera Playa and/or use the naturist beach.

The Council's action was also the spur to the formation of a new association of naturists at Vera Playa - the Tortuga Boba (Foolish Turtle) Naturist Association (named after the variety of turtles which lay their eggs on the naturist beach). The new association is led by Francisco Clemente, the President of the Bahia de Vera Community of Owners.

Illegal beach sign at Vera Playa - copyright 2002The naturist beach was establish by a decree in 1979 and Vera Council has no power to overide this decree, nor does it have any jurisdiction over the beach, which falls under the authority of a different body, claims the new Naturist's Association for Vera Playa.The association, and others, set out to prove that not only had the Vera Council acted illegally in attempting to reduce the length of the naturist beach at Vera Playa from approximately 3 kms to 1.1 kms (the length reduced is in front of new textile developments not in front of the naturist zone developments), but also to demonstrate that under the present Spanish Constitution, everyone has a right to be naked in any public place.

Francisco Clemente, Chairman of the new Association of Vera Playa Naturists appealed to all owners, visitors and friends of Vera Playa to help in the protest by contacting the Andalucian "Ombudsman" (Defensor del Pueblo Andaluz) whose help was sought to challenge the unilateral action by Vera Council to shorten the naturist beach A petition bearing 2083 signatures was submitted in support of the naturists' case.

Fran wrote: In order to have the greatest possible effect we request you all to, in an act of solidarity with the actions that are being carried out TO MAINTAIN the TRADITIONAL LENGTH of the naturist beach of Vera (From the Almanzora Camping to the Camino de los 3 Olivos) go to the following web page and send a personal complaint to the Defender of the Town Andalusian - Many did so and the Ombudsman has since reported to the Andalucian government and has been supportive of the naturist position - including confirming what was maintained about the right to be naked under the Spanish Constititution.

The naturist association has sought to recognise the reality that many textile apartments are ebing built fronting the disputed length of beach and has proposed it to be a "Free Beach" - where, in line with the Constitution, people can choose to be naked or clothed as they wish.

It is interesting to note that at least one of the new textile developments fronting the beach is marketing the properties very strongly on the basis that they are on the naturist beach and there is little doubt that many Spanish and other people who will buy these properties will value and use the naturist aspect of the beach even though they are not practicising naturists in terms of their general lifestyles - Spanish people in particular have much less in the way of hang-ups about sunbathing, swimming and playing on the beach naked than do most British people.

During summer 2003 there were a small number of incidents where some strongly anti-naturist textiles Graffitteed illegal sign at Vera Playa - copyright 2003protested verbally against people being naked on the disputed length of beach. Ironically, some of these are said to be owners/residents at Playa de Baria 1 (which is an urbanizacion originally sold as naturist but which was redesignated as textile by its developers half-way through the sales phase). There was a protest march the full length of the naturist beach by over 700 naturists in late August and in early September there was a mass of media coverage of the dispute in the local and national press, radio and television. See our News page for more details.

The current position is that legal action against the Mayor and Council of Vera - and by him/the Council against the Naturist Association - is threatened/pending. The "Berlin Wall" has been removed by the Council and the signs - at last count - were down to one - heavily graffitteed. And naturists are encouraged (by both the Naturist Association and by this website) to use the full length of the beach as much as possible. We wait to see what 2004 will bring in this saga.

April 2004 - The Public Defender (Ombudsman) has issued his report which supports the naturists' position re the beach and criticizes Vera Council for taking the action it did in trying to reduce the length of the naturist beach for development related reasons. See news page for more information - April 2004.

Latest update (January 2006) - An unsatisfactory state continues: Vera Council has failed to remove a sign at Playa de Baria which still says "Zona textil" even though the Andalucia Ombudsman has ruled it is "Zona naturista". The Spanish Naturist associations rely on the Spanish Constitution allowing people to be naked in any public place and say that signs are not needed. Meanwhile visiting naturists are still uncertain/confused and textiles are sometimes surprised to encounter naturists.


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