CONCERNS have been raised after reports that a girl as young as eight took part in a naked bike ride event.

Onlookers who contacted The Argus reported seeing the girl, aged about "eight or nine", taking part in the Brighton Naked Bike Ride on Sunday.

Chris Holmes, who contacted this newspaper through Facebook, said it was "unacceptable".

He said: "The fact there was an eight or nine-year-old girl on her bike completely naked shocked me beyond words.

"I spoke to the organisers, who seemed to think this was fine."

Meredith McGill added: "I saw it too and thought it was shocking. There should be an age limit in effect and it should be enforced."

Others, however, said there was "nothing wrong with naked children".

In reply, Sarah Bush said: "The ones in the wrong aren't the parents or organisers but anyone picturing them for unhealthy reasons. Let the kids enjoy their innocence while they can."

Duncan Blinkhorn, co-organiser of the Brighton Naked Bike Ride, said: "What's the problem? What's unacceptable about it? Why can't children be naked if adults are naked?

"The ride is about being body-positive and that applies to children as much as adults.

"Some people have a problem with it and always will. Maybe they are not comfortable with themselves, either.

"If they find the sight of a naked child difficult, they don't have to look.

"We have a sort of funny attitude and it's dressed up in child protection issues.

"We live in a contradicting world which uses nudity in advertising - we don't all look like Photoshopped people in the adverts."

Asked if there should be an age limit, he said those under 16 have to be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian.

"We wouldn't feel comfortable with children turning up unaccompanied," he said.

Mr Blinkhorn added: "We want the ride to be inclusive and accessible for everyone.

"The ride reflects a diverse range of people and it's lovely to get the full age and spectrum.

"I know there were a number of children on the ride. We would want any children on the ride to feel it was their choice. You expect parents to look after their best interests.

"We are just a bunch of people going around being human. There are plenty of nudist families out there.

"It's healthy for them and good for the world. We don't want them to feel uncomfortable in their bodies."

Sussex Police, which marshalled the event, said it had not been approached about the naked child or received any complaints.

A force spokesman said: "We will consider whether any action is necessary."