Restrictions in place on Peak District road over summer solstice
Visitors who are considering coming to Derbyshire over the summer solstice are being urged to act responsibly.
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.
A spokesperson for the Peak District National Park Authority said: “Those planning a visit to heritage sites such as stone circles are being urged to consider not only the current Covid-19 restrictions, but potential long-term damage caused to structures and buried archaeological layers.
“Fires, litter and unauthorised camping and parking have all been features of previous solstice gatherings in the Peak District.
“This year more than ever, those attending are being urged to ‘know before you go’ and plan ahead for aspects such as transport, weather and food, ensuring all litter generated on site is taken home.
“With many heritage features at these locations dating back 4,000 years or more, archaeologists stress that damage may often be irreversible – even if caused accidentally.
“Some sites will see patrols from the police, fire service and national park rangers during the solstice period, with agencies asking visitors to respect, protect and enjoy sites in a responsible way that leaves no trace, allowing new generations to explore the same sites in future.”
It has been confirmed that restrictions will be in place near the Nine Ladies Stone Circle over the coming days.
Derbyshire Dales’ Conservative MP Sarah Dines said: “Following on from a survey to residents, I am delighted to announce that action is being taken.
“The response to my recent survey overwhelmingly supported highway restrictions to ensure emergency vehicles had access to Stanton in the Peak.
“Having brought these findings directly to both Derbyshire Constabulary and Derbyshire County Council, further discussions have taken place on this matter between stakeholders.
“Thankfully an agreement has been reached that there will be an emergency temporary prohibition of stopping – commonly referred to as a 24-hour Rural Clearway – implemented on the Birchover Road from 6pm on June 17 to 11:59pm on June 21.
“Further details of these measures can be found at https://one.network/?tm=122490815.
“Signage will be placed on the road to advise road users of this order, and there will be civil enforcement officers on duty who will be including this area as part of their patrols over the weekend.
“As in previous years, landowner Adrian Davie Thornhill will be organising a clean-up after the event and I hope to be in attendance with a team to help.”
As previously reported, Ms Dines said residents have to deal with parking issues, criminal activity and anti-social behaviour as a result of visitors flocking to the Nine Ladies Stone Circle over the summer solstice.
She added: “Residents have told me of visitors using their gardens as toilets and this just isn’t acceptable.
“Last year I witnessed tents being carried onto the site, even though signs clearly state camping is illegal.
“I also witnessed heavy music amplifiers and crates of beer being taken onto the moor on trolleys as if the solstice was a festival or large party.
“This behaviour, which goes way beyond people enjoying the personal spiritual importance of the stones, is a clear abuse of the special nature of the Nine Ladies and should be prevented.”