Concerns raised over yobs visiting mysterious site in the Peak District
An MP is demanding action after residents raised concerns about yobs visiting a mysterious and ancient site in Derbyshire.
Every year, particularly around the summer solstice which in 2021 falls on June 21, thousands of people flock to the Nine Ladies Stone Circle on Stanton Moor in Stanton in Peak.
According to Derbyshire Dales’ Conservative MP Sarah Dines, residents have to deal with parking issues, criminal activity and anti-social behaviour – including visitors using locals’ gardens as toilets.
She is now calling for nearby roads to be closed around the time of the summer solstice to deter people from going to the site.
Ms Dines said: “The visitors to Stanton in Peak during the summer solstice is not a new occurrence.
“We are incredibly lucky to have a site like the Nine Ladies.
“I can understand why people want to visit them and I also appreciate that for some, especially at the summer solstice, they are a place of significant spiritual importance.
“Unfortunately, not everyone who visits the site during the solstice is respectful of the historical importance or mindful of the impact their stay may have on residents.
“It is illegal to camp on the site, yet every year many travel great distances to illegally camp on the moor, having fires and unfortunately causing noise, disturbance and parking issues.
“Residents have told me of visitors using their gardens as toilets and this just isn’t acceptable.
“In March I attended a steering group meeting to discuss how best to manage the influx of visitors to the area and I was pleased to see that the police would be focusing on keeping local residents safe in the community.
“There is no doubt that this is an incredibly difficult site to manage and police, but the event clearly causes significant worries for residents of the area, not least that due to inconsiderate and illegal parking, emergency vehicles struggle to reach residents during the solstice.”
Ms Dines added: “The roads I believe should be considered for closing are part of the Birchover Road and possibly roads which circle the moor, but this needs to be done in consultation with the residents and the local authority.”
Nine Ladies Stone Circle factfile
The English Heritage website states the monument is an early Bronze Age stone circle.
The website adds: "In common with many other stone circles, little evidence has been uncovered to suggest why this stone circle was built and how it was used.
“Suggestions include a place for ceremony or burial, a perceived link between the earth and the sky and the living and the dead or a meeting place for seasonal events.
“Such monuments may have had many functions, their uses and perceived significance shifting over time.”
Despite the name, there are 10 stones within the circle.
The tenth – which has fallen and now lies flat – was located in 1977.
According to English Heritage, there are no facilities on site and camping is ‘absolutely prohibited’ on the moor but there are ‘formal campsites nearby’.