A NATURIST has spoken of the postives of being in the nude after the group stripped off for a sunny boat trip down an Essex river.

The Hydrogen, a 116-year-old Thames barge, was hired by 39 members of British Naturism for a cruise from Maldon.

British Naturism supports about 10,000 registered naturists in the UK, and many have said that it has helped their own body image issues.

British Naturism member Andy Wyman has been a part of the group for about 40 years.

He said: “We joined them because they organise many events, like music festivals, activities, trips out, and it is great fun.

“I think most people would be amazed if they realised how many naturists there are. A survey has shown there are about 3.7 million people in the UK who regard themselves as naturists or nudists.

“The organistiaon also fights for the rights of naturists, as every now and again you’ll get a council that will stop us doing naturism on a beach or something like that.

“BN will fight them and they are virtually always successful.

“I would just say don’t knock it until you’ve tried it, not something we contemplated before we found ourselves on a naturist beach in France.

“It is brilliant for mental health, body image, and just to generally feel good.”

The group enjoyed a boat trip on the River Blackwater in Maldon for the jubilee celebrations.

They took turns at the wheel and hauling down the sail, as well enjoying as a buffet meal and the bar.

Mr Wyman added: "It was a great afternoon, especially when the sun came out."