Dogging on Army Land

dogging on army land in aldershot

The Dogging Woods near Rushmoor Road

People have been caught dogging in woodlands on Army land owned by the Ministry of Defence, near the British Army’s headquarters in Aldershot.

The woodlands are being developed as part of the Aldershot Urban Extension. Approved back in July 2013 by Rushmoor Borough Council the Aldershot Urban Extension, which is also known as Project Wellesley, will add up to 3,850 new homes to the area.

The developer in charge of Project Wellesley is Grainger, who were appointed by the Ministry of Defence, which owns the land on which the urban extension will be built.

Grainger bosses have stated that rangers have spotted people engaging in sex acts, in broad daylight, off Rushmoor Road, in the area known as the Wellesley Woodlands.

However, the Blackwater Valley Countryside Partnership (BVCP), which manages the woods, has denied knowledge of such activities, with its manager Steve Bailey telling the local paper: ‘We’re not aware of anything happening.’

Wellington Monument

The Car Park next to The Duke of Wellington Monument

We got in touch with our contacts in the area and asked them what was going on. One local dogger, who gave his name as Tattooed Tim, confirmed that he knew of dogging during the day in Wellesley Woods. However, he said it still did not compare with the regular goings-on at the dogging hotspot in the woods behind the Duke of Wellington monument just outside the town centre, as there was a convenient large car park adjacent to the monument. Tim said that the woodland here was public, and not owned by the army.

He also said that there were regular dogging in Hampshire meetings throughout the county, and that they primarilly attracted a crowd aged 40 plus.

Meantime, a spokesman for the MoD said: ‘Members of the public are allowed on to certain areas of the military estate in the Aldershot area, as long as they comply with the by-laws governing that access.”

Finally, credit to Get Hampshire for initially reporting this story, who stated that “Dogging is the practice of watching or engaging in exhibitionist sexual activity in a public place.”


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Dogging in Wiltshire

Chittoe Heath

Chittoe Heath

Wiltshire Police launched patrols near Bromham, a village in between Chippenham and Devizes, last week after receiving reports of dogging and ‘lewd behaviour’ at a beauty spot close to the village.

According to our sources, Devizes Police made an appearance at the popular Wiltshire dogging spot at Chittoe Heath.

A Devizes police spokesman was quoted as saying “Proactive patrols have been taking place in the area of Chittoe Heath near Devizes due to reports of anti-social and lewd behaviour taking place in the lane and wooded areas.” The spokesman also added the cryptic comment “Officers have been engaging with members of the public frequenting the area.”

A local dogger who goes by the name of Big Brian told us that “I know one or two local coppers. They know that dogging isn’t illegal, but that they feel they have to pop along to keep people on their toes, and also to keep the local councillors happy.”

Wiltshire councillor Jonathon Seed, who lives at Chittoe, said “Local residents have long been aware of the unsavoury reputation of part of this area. But the police are doing a first class job of tackling the problem.”

Of course, doggers shouldn’t be too deterred over police patrols and as long as they act within the law, they won’t be arrested. With the surge in popularity in dogging the past few years, there are plenty of other dogging spots where randy doggers, both old and new, can have fun with others, and make the most of the long summer nights.

Credit must go to The Gazette and Herald for initially reporting this story.


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Scouse Dogging Humour

Merseyside dogging

The gate that locks out Merseyside doggers.

A crackdown by Merseyside Police on dogging in St Helens prompted some hilarious comments from Scousers on social media and in posts to the local newspaper, the Liverpool Echo.

It stemmed from an article published by the paper reporting that a secluded Merseyside car park that had become a hotbed for public sex is now locked up at night. There is now a yellow barrier at the infamous Sidings Lane dogging spot which is closed from dusk to dawn in a bid to deter dogging at the park.

The story in the newspaper attracted many comments from Scousers, who are of course famed for their sense of humour, including the following:-

“First they take the coffee pot out the office and we need to go all the way downstairs to the kitchen, now they take away our dogging! What else are we suppose to do?” (Gavin Winstanley)

“Just as soon as I pass me test and get a car as well.” (Kevin Lowe)

“Take the fun out of everything… Why not?” (Hugh Hallaron)

“Could be a good spot for the scrambler bikes now. Every cloud.” (Benedict Bell)

“I think they’re barking up the wrong tree.” (Ian Myler)

“With that gate im sure they wont mind getting their leg over.” (Mark Hodson)

“They’ll be stopping us on the golf courses next!” (Billy Swann)

“I went dogging once but it didn’t work out, got a slap in the face when I sniffed a woman’s bum for 5 mins then tried to mount her.” (Facebook post)

“I’d tweet Stan Collymore this sad news but he blocked me years ago.” (Tom Pines)

If you want to visit this or other dogging spots, you should check out this comprehensive Where To Go Dogging guide.

Credit must go to The Liverpool Echo for initially reporting this story.


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Is Dogging Illegal?

There is a lot of misunderstanding and ignorance about dogging and the law, which we will try and address here, in the UK context.

It is important that you know your rights, and know the legal position in respect of dogging.

There are two key points for starters:- (1) The legislation that relates to dogging is the Sexual Offences Act 2003; hereafter referred to as SOA and (2) Dogging is not specifically defined as a sexual offence within the law.

Section 66 of the SOA looks at the offence of exposure, Section 67 deals with voyeurism and Section 68 deals with voyeurism.

Section 66 of the SOA states that exposure of the genitals with the intent to cause alarm or distress to the person exposed is against the law. If an individual “intentionally exposes his genitals and he intends that someone will see them AND be caused alarm or distress” he is committing an offence. Plain and simple. It can clearly be argued that people out dogging and exposing themselves in the act of dogging are not out to cause alarm or distress, and are thus NOT committing an offence. If an individual exposes him or herself intentionally to the general public, that’s a different story.

Section 67 of the SOA states that voyeurism is a sexual offence under four separate conditions.

A person commits an offence if:-
(1) for the purpose of obtaining sexual gratification, he observes another person doing a private act, and he knows that the other person does not consent to being observed for his sexual gratification.
(2) he operates equipment with the intention of enabling another person to observe, for the purpose of obtaining sexual gratification, a third party doing a private act, and he knows that the third party does not consent to his operating equipment with that intention.
(3) he records another person doing a private act, he does so with the intention that he or a third person will, for the purpose of obtaining sexual gratification, look at an image of that person doing the act, and he knows that person does not consent to his recording the act with that intention.
(4) he installs equipment, or constructs or adapts a structure or part of a structure, with the intention of enabling himself or another person to commit an offence under subsection (1).

In essence this section of the law is stating that it is a crime to watch any person engaging in a sexual act for the purpose of obtaining your own sexual gratification, knowing that the other person does not consent to such observation for your sexual gratification. If the person has consented to you watching and is fully aware that you are watching for your sexual gratification, then it is not a crime.

So, Section 67 (3) of the SOA states that if you were to record another person during a private act, and you are doing so with the intent that you or another person will obtain sexual gratification from the recording and the person has not consented to the recording, you are committing an offence. Once again, if they have consented to it, then it is not a crime. Thus, if you are going to take pictures or record dogging activities on your phone or camera, you need to make people involved aware that you are doing so and make sure that they consent to it. This is not normally a problem, and if people consent to your filming or taking pictures, you are not committing a crime.

Section 68 of the SOA interprets voyeurism as follows: If a person is doing a private act if the person is in a place (which includes a tent, vehicle or vessel or other temporary or movable structure) which, in the circumstances, would reasonably be expected to provide privacy, and the person’s genitals, buttocks or breasts are exposed or covered only with underwear, the person is using a lavatory, or the person is doing a sexual act that is not of a kind ordinarily done in public.

So that’s the law, in the UK. Other countries will of course have different laws, but in the UK, it is quite clear that dogging in itself is not illegal; and why so few charges are brought against doggers; as most Police Officers realise the charges would not stand up in court.

Thus, responsible doggers exercising common sense should not fall foul of the law.

Bear in mind that a person can be charged if they use words, behaviour or display to cause another person harassment, alarm or distress under sections four and five of the Public Order Act 1986. The key matter here is that this offence only applies if there is intent to cause alarm, and this legislation is very unlikely to be used, and is rarely used, in this context.

One other thing to consider is the common law offence of “outraging public decency”. The law comprises “statutory law” – enacted by Parliament – and “common law” which is composed largely of precedents decided by judges in court. “Outraging public decency” is a subjective concept and generally refers to pretty outrageous lewd behaviour, for example stripping naked on a public bus and then urinating on the seats, or defecating in public. Dogging does not fall into the category of “outraging public decency” and we cannot find any record of a court finding a dogger guilty on a charge of “outraging public decency”. However, the phrase may get quoted by locals objecting to dogging in their area, sometimes the same locals who thought nothing of having fun down Lovers Lane when they were younger. Outraging public decency is not what doggers do – they have fun with other consenting adults, which is not illegal and does not outrage public decency.

We all understand that the laws as above are there to protect people from weirdos exposing themselves in public. If you choose to outrage public decency as per the above interpretation, then you deserve to be arrested.

Depending on the type of conviction, and you are found guilty of the above sexual offences by a court you can be fined or imprisoned for up to two years, so it is worth knowing the law.

Where do the Police fit into all this?

Your average Police Officer cannot be expected to know the law in detail. The average copper wants an easy life, and does not want to make arrests which are later quashed. On the rare occasions they visit dogging spots, they are going either as a result of local police force policy, in response to complaints, or out of human curiosity. They are generally reasonable people with a job to do and will normally act in a reasonable manner, and under most circumstances may either do nothing or they may just ask the doggers to move along, although individuals do not have to do so, as they are not breaking any laws. If a policeman or policewoman is going to arrest anyone, then they of course need to have a reason to make an arrest, and may well state offences against Section 66 of the SOA as the reason. Remember, if you are involved in consensual activity, there is no offence. In the unlikely event that the Police persist and you are arrested, write down everything the arresting officer says (or record it to your phone if easier) – as this will help you later.

Once again, let’s be very clear on this, dogging is not illegal and most Police Officers know this. Whilst they have a duty to protect the public from indecent exposure, they have no business at all interfering with people involved in consensual sexual activity.

Feel free to quote this piece or refer to this Guide to Dogging and The Law.


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Nick Clegg Visited A Dogging Site

Clegg talking to a TV crew at the dogging spot

Clegg talking to a TV crew at the dogging spot

A former Liberal Democrat press officer has revealed that he once booked a photo opportunity for party leader Nick Clegg to announce a major party policy at a popular dogging site.

Ben Rathe, who used to handle media relations for the coalition government party, told how he arranged a press event to reveal the 5 pence charge on plastic carrier bags at a popular Glasgow dogging location.

Rathe said “It was the Liberal Democrat Conference 2013, and my role back then was planning all of the visits that Nick Clegg was doing over the course of the five days in Glasgow. This included finding somewhere suitable to announce a new 5p charge on plastic bags. I picked out a lovely nature reserve just south of Glasgow called Cathkin Marsh, which allowed us to tell the story of how discarded carrier bags murder cute, furry animals, damage the environment and ruin picturesque landscapes.”

As Clegg was deputy prime minister at the time, the police has to check the area ahead of the speech. However, during the trip to do this, Rathe learnt a worrying fact about his choice of location, as he explains….. ”Interesting place for a visit” said one Police Officer after the recce, which had mainly involved walking around a marshland on a wooden boardwalk. I, thinking he meant they usually take politicians to schools, factories or nursing homes, launched into an explanation about why we’d chosen this location, the environmental impact discarded bags can have etc etc when I was swiftly cut off by the Police Officer who said “No, I mean because of what the locals use it for.”

Rathe elaborated “Now, ‘what the locals use it for’ is never a good sentence to hear, because usually ‘the locals’ are never using ‘it’ for anything good. I didn’t want to ask what he meant, mainly because I knew what he was going to say if I did, but felt that I had to. So I did. And then came the reply I had both expected and dreaded. ‘Oh, it’s a dogging site!'”

“And as planned, the next day Nick Clegg did indeed unwittingly make his 5p plastic bag charge announcement. At a dogging spot! I’d arranged for the Deputy Prime Minister to visit a dogging site!”

If you want to visit the same dogging spot as Nick Clegg, you should check out this comprehensive Guide to Dogging in the UK.

Credit must go to The Spectator for initially reporting this story.


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Dogging in Happy Valley

Happy Valley Dogging

Happy Valley Dogging

Happy Valley WPC Catherine Cawood has another crime wave on her hands – her Yorkshire patch is regularly invaded by randy doggers!

The Yorkshire countryside where the popular BBC TV drama is filmed has many picturesque hills and valleys which are a magnet for tourists during the day. However, when night falls the stunning Yorkshire countryside becomes a lure for dogging enthusiasts who indulge their passion at the many secluded car parks and quiet woods in the area.

The crime drama series starring Sarah Lancashire as the no-nonsense female cop who is haunted by her daughter’s murdering ex-boyfriend is filmed in the stunning Yorkshire countryside, with the local towns and villages including Sowerby Bridge and Hebden Bridge serving as a natural backdrop to the drama.

However, the popularity of the series has led to thrill-seeking doggers and lust-crazed couples combining sight-seeing trips during the day with sex sessions with strangers in the evening.

There are plenty of messages on the dogging grapevine from people keen to visit the area to see where the TV series is filmed and get their own happy ending! One London couple stated: “We are a fun-loving couple visiting Happy Valley off the telly this weekend. Anyone want to join us in our camper van?”

Some dogging spots the London caravanners should check out are (a) “On the road to Hebden Bridge, climb out of the valley and there’s a track that leads to some old oil workings; (b) “Baitings Reservoir in Ripponden past Sowerby Bridge”; and (c) “The moors above Heptonstall – climb out of Hebden Bridge and keep going. Plenty of laybys popular with couples.”

To see exactly where you too can get a happy ending in Happy Valley, check out this Dogging in Yorkshire guide which is part of the comprehensive Guide to Dogging in the UK.

Meantime, here is a comprehensive Dogging and the Law guide.

Finally, credit to The Sun for initially reporting this story.”


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