With a large crowd expected to descend on Avebury for the summer solstice, the National Trust has appealed to those wanting to celebrate to consider using public transport and to plan their trip well in advance.
Car parking outside the main car park in the village is restricted to residents and permit holders only and this will again be enforced under a temporary traffic regulation order.
“Solstice is always popular at Avebury,” said Hilary Makins, the National Trust Wiltshire Countryside Manager. “There is one very small campsite in Avebury which usually fills within minutes of opening on 20 June and the demand for car park spaces is also very high. We would appeal for people to come by public transport, plan ahead and make sure they have suitable accommodation arranged before setting off.
The shortage of car parking places also means coaches dropping off passengers have nowhere in Avebury to wait.
“Coaches are very welcome to drop off visitors at the bus stops in the village, but will then have to leave the area to park before returning to collect their passengers at a pre-arranged time,” added Hilary.
The National Trust leads the Avebury Solstice Operational Planning Group which seeks to ensure a safe and peaceful celebration. The group includes representatives of the Police and Wiltshire Council who will this year 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.
Jan Tomlin the National Trust’s General Manager in Avebury said: “We want the Solstice at Avebury to continue to be known for being the peaceful, respectful occasion which all those who care most about the henge and the village would want it to be.
“Avebury always welcomes those who treat the World Heritage Site with care and respect, disposing of litter thoughtfully and leaving everything as it was before the Solstice – and who show their respect to those who live in the village or manage farm land nearby.’
Photos: The Avebury Stone Circle at Dawn © National Trust Images / David Sellman