ONE of Huddersfield's best-known picnic beauty areas has become a sex hotspot for swinging couples.
Scammonden dam has appeared on a website highlighting the favourite haunts for couples to have sex in public or with strangers.
The car park overlooking the dam close to the M62 has long been known as a meeting place for men seeking sex with other men.
But heterosexual couples are now using the car park and surrounding areas to carry out activities known as dogging and piking.
The term - made public in the sensational axe killing trial involving Golcar woman Janet Charlton - refers to women having sex with strangers while their partners watched or joined in.
Charlton, 37, was convicted of killing her wealthy lover, 41-year- old Daniel O'Brien, with an axe during a steamy sex session at the home they shared at Midgley, near Flockton, in May, 2001.
She was jailed for five years for manslaughter, but that term was cut to three-and-a-half years in February this year. She is due to be released before Christmas after serving half her sentence.
During the trial at Leeds Crown Court it was revealed that Mr O'Brien and Charlton had been involved in dogging and piking at Bretton Country Park.
But barriers have now been put up, stopping cars getting into the grounds at night.
It is believed this may have led to an increase in dogging and piking at Scammonden in recent months.
A sexual health charity in Halifax, the Brunswick Centre, has a department called Men Who Have Sex With Men - MSM for short.
The charity's chief executive, Amanda Page, said that for several years Scammonden had been used for "cottaging" - where men meet other men for sex.
She said MSM workers went to Scammonden to give sexual health advice and condoms to men cruising for other men.
But the staff had noticed a significant increase in heterosexual couples using the area.
Miss Page added: "There seems to have been an increase in the last six months. On one occasion a woman has been seen going from car to car."
She also said Scammonden had become popular with men after public toilets had been closed across Huddersfield.
She said: "Many of these men are married and yet go out seeking sex with other men.
"It may be they have hidden their gay feelings and done `the right thing' by getting married and having children. To men in the older age group homosexuality was taboo.
"Some married men may be cruising for other men simply because they are interested in other sexual acts." said Miss Page.
"We advise them to do what they do as safely and privately as possible - and always use a condom.
"We give them advice to protect their wives from sexually-transmitted infections.
"They often do not know what their husbands or partners are doing. It must be horrendous for them when they find out."
Miss Page added: "We all know that what they do is wrong, but unfortunately the problem is there. Where there is a secluded spot like Scammonden, people will have sex."
A police spokesman said: "We are aware of problems of a sexual nature taking place in this area.
"If people are caught, they risk the possibility of prosecution and the shame and humiliation that will bring."