Woods on the outskirts of Street have today been named as top spot for dogging.
The car park near the old Windmill at Berhill is hailed as “excellent for daytime action in wooded areas” while another says it is great for “evening action in the field by the car park.”
Dogging is an extension of swinging parties – and involves exhibitionist sex in semi-secluded locations such as car parks or country parks.
The term originated in the early 1970s to describe men who spied on couples having sex outdoors – these men would “dog” the couples’ every move and watch them.
With the advent of the internet, mobile phones, and messaging, it is easier for doggers to find one another and arrange meetings.
The location of dogging events is now frequently advertised on websites or communicated by mobile phone text message.
Those attracted by these messages may simply act as voyeurs – or be invited to participate.
Legally, doggers are committing no offence unless they are witnessed by a member of the public who can be defined as “outraged” in the eyes of the law. A new sexual offences bill currently moving through Parliament may give the police more options to tackle the issue, particularly if it takes place in a location where it is likely that an unwitting member of the public is likely to witness it.
However, ministers say it is not their intention to criminalise outdoor sex in a public place that is sufficiently isolated as to make witnessing unlikely.
One woman, who walks her dog near the windmill, and has asked not to be named, said: “You get followed all the way round and being a woman walking around on my own, it does bother me. It is like some kind of dirty film.”
A spokeswoman for Avon and Somerset Police said stories of dogging crop up every so often at different sites.
The police spokeswoman said enthusiasts of the craze are treading a fine line between having fun and outraging public decency.
“If people are courting in public there is nothing wrong with that,” he said.
“But if they are having sex in public that would not be decent in the eyes of most people.”
She said she was not aware of dogging specifically going on at the site, but have said if they receive any complaints, they will be investigated vigorously.