FED-UP villagers in Avebury have had enough of tourists getting caught short at the World Heritage site and are demanding the National Trust keep its toilets open for longer to stop the problem.
Reports of people urinating and defecating near to the Neolithic and Bronze Age monuments, which date back more than 5,000 years, have increased, with villagers blaming the charity for not keeping its toilets open past 4pm during the winter months.
Avebury Parish Council, Marlborough Area Board and local benefactors have pledged £3,000 to help set up a partnership scheme with the National Trust to keep the toilets at the museum and the Farmyard, both just off the High Street, open for longer than just 10am to 4pm in winter and 6pm in summer.
They also want the toilets at the coach house, in High Street, opened.
They have been closed for some time due to their poor condition.
The three sets of National Trust owned toilets in the village are open during all NT opening hours, so that in summer they are not locked until 6pm. The Trust pointed out that they can be used by all visitors to the village, not just the 130,000 people who pay to see the Trust's buildings and exhibitions and the historic stones.
Jemima Milton, Avebury’s Wiltshire councillor, said: “This is a really revolting problem to have and if something is not done, this will continue to plague Avebury and this beautiful heritage site.
“If I was going to a world heritage site, that attracts 250,000 people a year, you would assume there would be toilets somewhere but they all close after 4pm – the toilets by the pub are sometimes not open at all.
“It is just disgusting but really if they have nowhere else to go, this can happen. People have been knocking on peoples homes and using the pub but that we should not be in this situation, it is not very pleasant.
“I think this idea to work with the National Trust and start a partnership scheme is a great idea. By raising this money we can perhaps help with running the toilets and therefore keep them open for longer.
"I think we can all agree that this should be stopped.”
The National Trust is refurbishing all three sets of toilets, and work should be completed by March.
Parish council chairman Andrew Williamson said: “I am pleased we are currently working on a partnership scheme with the National Trust to explore the possibility of opening toilets for the public within the henge for 365 days a year during daylight hours.”
The National Trust is also planning on opening a cafe in the coach house building this year after the refurbishment.
General manager Janet Tomlin said: “I am delighted to confirm that we are nearing the end of a refurbishment programme to improve all three National Trust toilet facilities at Avebury.
“We hope that these works will be finished by March.”
The charity could not comment on the council’s proposal as it has not assessed its feasibility. It said this week that their rangers, who inspect the World Heritage site frequently, have found no evidence of people regularly urinating or defecating in the hedges and open fields around the stones and that the Trust has received no direct complaints about the issue.