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Last Updated: Thursday, 16 June, 2005, 18:04 GMT 19:04 UK
Stonehenge open for sunrise event
Sunrise over Stonehenge
There is free acess to the site - and the sight
English Heritage is again allowing public access to the 5,000-year-old Stonehenge stone circle for this year's summer solstice celebrations.

Sunrise will occur at 0458 BST on Tuesday, 21 June, on what is the longest day of the year.

The monument and car park will be open throughout the previous night.

Access to the stones will be free but subject to safety conditions. Animals, fireworks and loud music are banned and climbing on the stones is prohibited.

Dr Simon Thurley, chief executive of English Heritage, said: "We are very pleased to be welcoming people to Stonehenge once again to enjoy the summer solstice. This builds on the considerable success of the celebrations in previous years.

Druids and Pagans

"Summer solstice is a special time which means different things to different people. We work closely with many agencies and people from all sectors of the community to ensure that everyone who comes to solstice is able to enjoy the occasion safely and peacefully.

"Over the last few years, English Heritage has successfully balanced the solstice with the need to protect the stone circle and its surrounding monuments.

"Providing this balance is maintained we look forward to continuing to provide managed open access for those wanting to celebrate summer solstice at Stonehenge."

Strike planned

Roy Gillett, resident of the Astrological Association of Great Britain, said: "For over eight years English Heritage has developed a very positive working relationship with many groups with an interest in celebrating solstice at Stonehenge and particularly members of the Druid and Pagan community.

"The goodwill and support this has generated has contributed significantly to the success of summer solstice at Stonehenge."

Staff at Stonehenge and other English Heritage sites are planning a two-hour stoppage later the same day.

Their union said it was protesting at an imposed pay rise of 1.5% coupled with job losses and claimed that the heritage body was facing a financial crisis.

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