Friday, August 6, 1999 Published at 08:08 GMT 09:08 UK
Eclipse seekers threaten ancient monuments
Eclipse seekers could damage ancient monuments
Pagans and archaeologists have warned hundreds of ancient Cornish monuments could be damaged when people flock to the region for the eclipse of the sun.
Revellers urged to respect sites
"We hope very much that there isn't an excuse for the for the sorts of events that happened at Stonehenge because there won't be, as far as I'm aware, a heavy police presence," said Andy Norfolk, a pagan.
"There will be people like myself encouraging people to treat the sites with respect. And we hope that taking this very positive approach will actually avoid any trouble."
Illegal rave sparks concern
One of Cornwall's most popular monuments is the Men-An-Tol stone, near Penzance, which local folklore claims has healing properties for anyone who crawls through it.
English Heritage spokeswoman Ann Preston-Jones expressed concern that this could attract large numbers of people who were "not going to be that careful about the stones".
Others fear revellers will simply be unaware of the archaeological treasures hidden in the ground.
Stephen Heartgraves of the Cornwall Archaeology Unit said it was easy to imagine how thousands of people walking on a site could erode it, destroying vital evidence of ancient Cornish tribes' activities.
The hope is that the vast majority of visitors will observe the eclipse code being posted up at many of the ancient sites.
But one of the rules - no fires - has already been broken at Men-An-Tol, risking its destruction.