Ross Nichols – Naturism

smokeywoods 2, Order of Bards, Ovates & Druids.

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I have not lived.”
Thoreau, Walden

Ross was a committed naturist, joining the Utopian Spielplatz community in Hertfordshire in the 1930s and later Gerald Gardner’s Five Acres club, which he visited regularly until the end of his life. In addition, to create a place of refuge, where he could be close to nature and where he could paint and write without the distractions of the city, he bought a piece of woodland in Hambleden, Oxfordshire. There he placed three huts – one for himself and two for guests. Furnished simply with camp beds and cooking pots, he was able to live in utter simplicity.

There in the privacy of the woods he was able to feel that contact with nature that comes when we free ourselves of all trappings – both psychic and physical. He was able to gather wood, cook over an open fire, and nourish himself with the power of the trees and the stars before returning to his work as Order Chief and college principal, historian, artist and poet.

Naturism formed part of the complex of alternative philosophies of the day, such as pacifism and vegetarianism, also embraced by Ross – and it fitted perfectly with his belief in the need to develop a closer connection with Nature.

For articles on Druidry and Naturism see Druidry & Naturism