NEOLITHIC man may have taken slightly longer to create the spectacle of Stonehenge.

But it proved a much easier affair at a North Yorkshire nature reserve - with more than 20 tons of stone hoisted into place in a matter of hours.

The 13 limestone blocks were lifted to form a stone circle at Foxglove Covert Nature Reserve, Catterick Garrison, by heavy lifting equipment and an eight-strong team of men – creating its newest non-living attraction.

The stone was donated by Cemex Quarry in Leyburn following discussions with the reserve as part of an annual environmental ‘lend a hand’ scheme to help out in the community.

Staff at the reserve worked all last week to prepare the site for the circle which stands on the edge of its bluebell bank - providing a spectacular backdrop.

With the scale of the endeavour, operations were overseen by Brett Burrows as the stones had to be individually quarried over a period of three months.

Mr Burrows, assistant quarry manager at Cemex, said: "Every year we run a lend-a-hand scheme, but his year we seem to have gone that bit further.

"We had been in discussion with Major Tony Crease and he came up with the idea of a stone circle, which we were happy to go along with."

Roger Foreman, one of the two reserve wardens, said: “The circle will be in an area that is on slightly higher ground and will look spectacular right across the moor from many different angles.

“It is just one more feature in the nature reserve and another example of what we do in engaging with the community at large.”

This quasi Neolithic edifice is quite a departure for the reserve which is home to a rare mix of 2,236 species of birds, fish, and mammals and hosts 25,000 visitors every year.

The elaborate circle is designed as a 21-metre clock face - large keystones occupy four points of the compass, and other smaller blocks are interspersed, with a solid centrepiece taking pride of place.

Major Crease said: "Once the grass grows it will look as though it's always been here, but for now I think it looks excellent."

Foxglove Covert was established in 1992 behind Cambrai Lines and stretches to more than 100 acres.

Foxglove Covert Nature Reserve is open every day and free to visit. For further details visit or call 01748-831113.