Patrols will be increased after reports of a naked man approaching a woman on Hampstead Heath.

Sarah Doll-Steinberg, who says she regularly walks her dogs in the early morning at the Heath, feels she cannot safely return to her favourite part of the area after being startled by a naked man on Sunday (September 10).

During the early hours, she crossed near to the Viaduct Bridge when she saw a naked man run towards her.

He reportedly told the walker he had his clothes off as it was “very hot”, and he did not think other people would be around at the time.

Recalling the incident, she said the man then walked in front of her and stopped.

She said: “It was as if he wanted me to walk past him, but I retraced my steps to the main path and went a different way.

Around 20 minutes later, he “appeared from the bushes” and approached her again, this time wearing shorts but no shirt.

Sarah said: “He apologised for startling me earlier. He then started walking towards me again. He asked me for permission to take off his clothes again so he could run as a naturalist.”

Speaking to the Ham&High, she said: “The first time he approached me I thought maybe he was innocent, but the second time there was no doubt in my mind he was trying to get a reaction.”

She said she is fearful for a woman who could walk in the wooded area with headphones and who would not be as alert as herself.

Initially Sarah felt she would be unable to return to the area, but she returned to the Heath on Monday (September 11) “mainly to warn others”.

She continued: “I kept to the Parliament Hill side and away from the woods. And that really upsets me that I can’t go to the woods because that’s what I love.”

According to the woman, after alerting Hampstead Heath Constabulary and the Metropolitan Police, she was allegedly told of “numerous reports” of a naked man and that she was “lucky he did not masturbate” in front of her.

A spokesperson for the City of London Corporation, which manages Hampstead Heath as a registered charity, said: “This shocking and criminal behaviour is completely unacceptable on Hampstead Heath or anywhere else in our society.

 “We are working with the Metropolitan Police Service, and we will be stepping up early morning patrols in the area.”

A Met Police spokesperson said: "Officers have made an appointment to meet the victim. There have been no arrests."