A number of organisations are working together to do everything they can to help make the mid-summer solstice celebrations at Avebury safe for everyone and respectful of the World Heritage Site.
A enhanced plan has been drawn up to look at tackling the growing numbers camping on a byway near Avebury, better enforcement of parking in the village and nearby roads and making Solstice a more peaceful occasion.
As part of the plan, the Police and Wiltshire Council will increase patrols on the Ridgeway – a byway east of Avebury where the number and behaviour of people gathering during Solstice has become a problem.
Regular patrols of the byway will ensure safety, keep access along the byway open and prosecute and remove those found to be breaking the law.
The plan also includes a much tighter enforcement of parking in Avebury, backed by a new Temporary Traffic Regulation Order. Apart from National Trust car parks, there will be no parking on roads across Avebury except for local residents and permit holders.
The moves have been agreed at a meeting of the Avebury Solstice Operational Planning Group, chaired by the National Trust.
Jan Tomlin the National Trust’s General Manager in Avebury said: “We want the Solstice at Avebury to continue to be known for being a peaceful, respectful occasion which all those who care most about the henge and the village would want it to be – that is why we are taking this action.
“As landowner we are concerned about the safety of anybody using our land – including the Ridgeway. A robust management plan as proposed and enforced by the council and Police is the right thing.”
Philip Whitehead, cabinet member for highways, said: “I am delighted we are taking a real partnership approach to tackling the challenges the Summer Solstice brings to Avebury. It is a real team effort, and I look forward to another successfully managed event.”