Glastonbury Roadside Living Report

Improving understanding of the increase in Glastonbury’s roadside communities

Smart Response

At the time of commissioning this work, Mendip District Council (MDC) knew approximately 82 people were living on the roadside in Glastonbury. The numbers had increased over the last 3 – 4 years and MDC wanted to understand the reasons why and what support was needed. The Smart Communities team:

  • Consulted people living on the roadside in Glastonbury (individual interviews and focus group).
  • Undertook doorstep interviews with people living in residential dwellings near roadside dwellers.
  • Conducted on-street interviews with Glastonbury residents.
  • Interviewed agencies and organisations providing support.
  • Researched the national picture.


A full report and executive summary along with clear recommendations was presented to Glastonbury Living Spaces Board in 2020. This was the first time that a large proportion of the roadside community have engaged with such research and shown a willingness to work with others to address issues. The approach used – engaging trusted people and meeting people on their terms – has provided a unique insight into the lifestyle, issues, and possible solutions for roadside dwellers.