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Last Updated: Monday, 2 May, 2005, 08:53 GMT 09:53 UK
Pagan ritual used by campaigners
Thornborough henges
Opponents say the plans threaten the 'Stonehenge of the North'
More than 100 pagans joined a fight against proposals to extend quarrying at a historic site in North Yorkshire.

Tarmac Northern wants to extend its present operations close to the Thornborough Henges ancient earthworks near Ripon.

The druids met at the site to mark the May Day ritual of Beltane, a pagan celebration of the height of spring.

Local archaeologists also joined the protest. The group claims the Henges are under threat from the quarrying.

The area has the greatest concentration of late Neolithic and early Bronze Age sites in the UK.

It also boasts the country's largest quarrying operation on prehistoric land, Nosterfield Quarry, which produces more than 500,000 tonnes of sand and gravel each year.

The firm says it is not seeking to quarry on the earthworks which form the three 5,000-year-old circles which may have been a ceremonial meeting place.

Residents reject pledge on quarry
22 Mar 05 |  North Yorkshire
Axe ritual used in quarry protest
22 Oct 04 |  North Yorkshire
Delay over quarry henge project
22 Sep 04 |  North Yorkshire
Fight to stop quarry growth plans
03 Jun 04 |  South Yorkshire
Henge road inquiry hears evidence
17 Feb 04 |  Wiltshire
Talks on future of historic site
02 Mar 04 |  North Yorkshire

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