Famous Gloucestershire cheese rolling event to go ahead despite safety concerns

Participants take part in the annual cheese rolling competition at Cooper’s Hill in Brockworth.

Gloucestershire's famous cheese rolling event will go ahead this year - despite safety concerns.

"Cheese rolling" is now officially an extreme sport, with competitors heading to Gloucester from across the globe each year.

It involves chasing a 9lb Double Gloucester down the near-vertical slopes of the hill.

The first runner to the bottom wins and the cheese is the prize.

The aim is to catch it but considering it reaches speeds of up to 70mph, that is almost impossible.

The Tewkesbury Borough Safety Advisory Group (SAG), which includes Gloucestershire Police, the county council and Tewkesbury Borough Council, met this week to discuss the cheese rolling.

Flo Early, from Stroud, winning the cheese in 2019 Credit: PA

In a statement to the press, they said the "lack of any formal plans from organisers" meant they were unable to declare the event "safe" for the public to attend this year's event on Monday 29 May.

The SAG advises on the risks of any large outdoor event in the Tewkesbury area.

It said it had asked the cheese rolling organisers to "help them understand their plans for protecting participants and spectators from being seriously injured".

They also asked for clarification around traffic issues, such as parking, when the event runs.

The statement said: "It is understood the Spring Bank Holiday event is popular with many, but to date organisers have not provided plans that set out how they will keep members of the public attending safe.

"Therefore, all those attending are asked to be aware of this and not to rely on measures being in place to protect them.

"Everyone travelling around the Coopers Hill area is also asked to respect the road closures and restrictions in place for the day.

"The authorities have no desire or power to stop the cheese rolling event being run but have a duty to inform the public of their position.

"Police, fire and ambulance services will not be attending the event."