We have been sent this message from someone who has attended several Stonehenge solstice events in a professional capacity. They have supplied their name but have asked that we don’t divulge it.

While we’re happy to agree with King Arthur and others that it is not true pagans or Druids that misbehave at Solstice, the account does suggest there is  more than a small minority of other people, perhaps pagans-for-the-day or simply revellers,  who do so. In addition it highlights the issue of “insults” to the monument i.e. behaviour that may not cause permanent damage but nevertheless shouldn’t be tolerated by the rest of us – and particularly by true pagans and Druids. Is not the unwavering insistence on a “cram-in” ensuring that the monument is grossly disrespected every year and shouldn’t pagans and Druids, of all people, be leading calls for reform, not supporting an indefensible status quo?


I would like to add my thoughts to the debate about open access to the Stones at Solstice.I would prefer to be anonymous for professional reasons.
 
I have attended several of the summer Solstice events in a professional capacity as a senior officer in one of the statutory emergency services. I have witnessed first hand the heartbreak that the staff feel when they reclaim the area within the circle the morning after. I have seen guardians in tears at the insults wrought to the monument, the appalling stench, the rubbish, the vandalism, beer cans wedged into cracks in the stones, urine, vomit and faeces everywhere.
 
The majority seems to have little care for an ancient monument, and utterly disrespect it.
 
One member of staff (NT or EH, can’t remember), whilst starting to collect the detritus, in tears, muttered “364 days a year we protect and care for this place, 364 days a year, and then this happens in one night”. But they always manage to clear the rubbish up and get the site open again. The smell lingers, though, for days.