'Naked Gardeners' open up for the public
Luffy Sunday, June 17, 2007 Nature
When Ian and Barbara Pollard let it be known that they enjoyed gardening in the nude, they attracted a fair amount of coverage.
What they didn't expect, however, was to discover that their enthusiasm for clothes-free horticulture was shared by so many others.
So much so that the Pollards now hold special naturist open days at their highly acclaimed five-acre garden in Wiltshire. On Sunday, they had about 350 visitors, with about 300 disrobing.
Word spread of the couple's stripped-down approach after Mr Pollard, 61, and his 54-year-old wife appeared on the BBC show Gardeners' World.
Since then they have been inundated with requests from other naturists asking if they can visit their Abbey House Gardens in Malmesbury, which is open to the public from March to October, and stroll around in the way nature intended.
Mr Pollard, an architect, said: "At first I said no because we would be responsible for their behaviour. But in the end we were having so many inquiries we thought why not have set days when they can do it?
"So we started what we call our 'clothes-optional days'. That was three years ago. This year we are having six 'clothes-optional days', our most ever. The next is on June 17."
Mr Pollard said naked gardening is no more dangerous than gardening fully clothed.
"Waving sharp implements around is just as dangerous if you have trousers on or not," he said.