Regulation of the Day 126: Cheese-Rolling Races

One of Great Britain’s most light-hearted traditions is the cheese-rolling race. Every year on the May Bank Day holiday, wheels of cheese are rolled down Cooper’s Hill in Brockworth, Gloucester. Adventurous and/or foolhardy souls roll down the hill in hot pursuit; the one who gets a hold of the cheese before reaching the bottom of the hill wins. You can watch a video of last year’s race here. Winners get to keep the cheese as a prize.

Cheese-rolling races have been held at Cooper’s Hill since the 1800s. Until this year, that is. Health and safety regulators shut down this year’s event because it has become too popular. The Daily Mail reports:

More than 15,000 spectators turned out last year, which, at three times the site’s capacity, means it has ‘outgrown the location’.

Richard Jefferfies, one of the organi[z]ers, said: ‘‘We have had to cancel on the advice of the police and local authorities this year because of the issues of health and safety and other aspects.

‘As well as concerns about the safety of the crowd and the competitors, local landowners were also worried by the amount of damage done by people climbing over fences and that sort of thing.’

It is hoped the races will return next year.