Wigan’s dogging shame

The car park at Red Rock Lane, Haigh
The car park at Red Rock Lane, Haigh

Beauty spots and carparks in Wigan have been named as top haunts for the lewd act of “dogging” on X-rated websites.

Some of the sites are popular with children and walkers and police have warned that those who take part in voyeuristic, al fresco sex acts could find themselves on the wrong side of the law.

We do give guidelines on the site for people who go out dogging, but the activity itself is not illegal

Spokesperson for Swinging Heaven

The revelations were made after it emerged that Lancashire has taken over Surrey as the country’s capital for this kinky practice.

One of the nearest spots to Wigan in that county is identified on the Swinging Heaven website is a carpark at Beacon Country Park, Up Holland.

But there are also several favourite locations within the metropolitan borough on Swinging Heaven.

They include the car parks at The Three Sisters in Bryn, Pennington Flash Country Park at Leigh, and one previously identified in the Evening Post many years ago: the secluded car park up Red Rock Lane, Standish, which is apparently particularly busy at around 1am.

It’s not just about couples going to these sites. Sometimes they involve complete strangers meeting up, sometimes involving multiple partners and/or consenting voyeurism.

Each site is given a rating as to the level of privacy, how often, if ever, there is a police presence and even rain protection.

Another site, identified by the same website 12 years ago in Bamfurlong, no longer appears.

But there is clearly an appetite for these sexual activities.

A spokesperson for the popular dogging and swinging site said: “The site has been running for well over a decade and dogging is popular everywhere over the UK.

“We give users the opportunity to upload the locations but we don’t monitor them. Users find them and chat about it themselves in the forum and do their thing.

“We do give guidelines on the site for people who go out dogging, but the activity itself is not illegal.”

However the police warn that there are many and varied laws which apply to sex in public, which use a variety of terms such as indecent exposure, public lewdness, gross indecency, and others. In some jurisdictions, an offense is committed only if the participants are seen by others, so that a sex act may occur in a closed toilet cubicle without an offense being committed.

A Wigan Police spokesman said that there had been no complaints made to them about dogging activities at the sites identified but if anyone had anything to report then they should contact police on 101.

A Wigan Council spokeswoman added that the authority too, which owns some of the sites involved, said that it too had not received any complaints.

But she added: “This type of behaviour is not acceptable and if spotted should be reported to the police.”