Warning not to take part in Gloucester cheese rolling as unofficial event declared 'unsafe'

Hundreds gather at Cooper's Hill to watch and take part Credit: PA

An annual cheese rolling event which sees dozens of people racing down a steep hill after a wheel of cheese has been declared unsafe by multiple agencies.

The unofficial event takes place on Cooper's Hill near Gloucester on Bank Holiday Monday.

The Tewkesbury Borough Safety Advisory Group says last year's event put a strain on emergency services after a number of people suffered injuries.

It says it has made "numerous attempts" to engage with organisers but they have not shared how they plan to keep people safe this year.

Assistant Chief Constable Arman Mathieson from Gloucestershire Police said the event is a "unique tradition" and they had "no desire to stop it" but had a duty to tell the public the council's safety group had declared it unsafe.

He added that those intending to go to the cheese rolling should "consider the risk they might be putting themselves at”.

Competitors hurtle down the hill as they try to be the first to the bottom

The advisory group is made up of multiple agencies, including the emergency services, who work to promote safety and welfare at events.

Members say they are concerned about how emergency services would be able to respond if there was a major incident, after ambulances struggled to access the site in 2023.

The winner of last year's women's race was knocked unconscious at the finish line. She only discovered she'd won when she woke up in a medical tent.

Despite yearly warnings about the event, people travel from all over the world to attend.

There are multiple races and the rules are simple - get to the bottom of the hill first.

Gravity does most of the hard work, as competitors run - or in most cases tumble - down the steep slope.

Volunteers are ready to help catch runners at the bottom but injuries are almost inevitable.

On the official Facebook page, organisers say both spectators and participants attend at their own risk.