Could Stonehenge lose its UNESCO protection over the new tunnel?

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Campaign groups have warned that UNESCO could take away Stonehenge's World Heritage status if the Government goes ahead with digging a tunnel under the sacred tourist attraction.

SEE ALSO: Stonehenge tunnel gets the go-ahead

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The Government wants to build a 1.8-mile-long tunnel underneath Stonehenge, which it argues would be deep enough not to damage the site.

But archaeologists and campaign groups believe that it will "inject enormous amounts of concrete into the most significant prehistoric landscape" in Britain.

Members of the National Trust, which supports the plan for the tunnel, are urging it not to back the controversial plan.

Kate Fielden, vice-chairwoman of the British Archaeological Trust and a member of the anti-tunnel campaign group, the Stonehenge Alliance, told the Daily Telegraph: "As members of the National Trust our hope is to somehow persuade the Trust to change its mind.

"We think the Trust should be going for the very best for a World Heritage Site, sticking to its basic principles and seeking a better solution."

Meanwhile, UNESCO has warned the Government that the development would cause "considerable damage," while its Chief of Europe and North America, Isabelle Anatole-Gabriel, told Sky News: "We are not there, we have to assess first what are the potential impacts of any changes which might occur on the values of the site and on its integrity."

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England's spectacular UNESCO World Heritage Sites
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England's spectacular UNESCO World Heritage Sites
The Lake District is England's newest UNESCO World Heritage Site, joining just over 1000 sites and iconic English locations such the historic city of Bath, Stonehenge and the Tower of London as a place of cultural and natural heritage.

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Now the UK’s largest World Heritage Site and the only UK National Park that will be entirely a World Heritage site, the Lake District is also Cumbria’s second World Heritage Site together with Hadrian’s Wall.

England is bursting with these places of great beauty and historic importance recognised by UNESCO and we've rounded up ten of the best for you to tick off your British bucket list...
Tucked away in a scenic river valley just outside Ripon, Fountain's Abbey is a World Heritage Site and a picture of medieval grandeur. Once a towering Cirstercian monastery, it's now a well-preserved ruin, rich in atmosphere and surrounded by lush green landscapes. On the same estate you'll find the soothing Georgian water gardens of Studley Royal.
This UNESCO World Heritage Site contains over 200 iconic Cornish engine houses (the largest concentration of such monuments anywhere in the world) that reveal the history and work undertaken by the Cornish miners over 4,000 years. It was from this area that mining technologies spread across the world.
Discover Britain’s seafaring past at Greenwich's National Maritime Museum, explore the world’s oldest surviving tea clipper ship, the Cutty Sark, and take a stroll along the Thames past Christopher Wren’s magnificent baroque Old Royal Naval College.
Towering above the historic city of Canterbury is Canterbury Cathedral, a World Heritage Site and a place of pilgrimage for centuries – Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales feature pilgrims on their way here in the 14th century. See the spectacular fan vaulting of the Bell Harry Tower and the spot where Thomas Becket was martyred.
Visit the cradle of the Industrial Revolution, home to the world's first iron bridge and no fewer than 10 award-winning museums. Step back in time at a full-scale Victorian town, explore the spooky Tar Tunnel and cross the great bridge itself.
One of Britain’s most recognisable buildings, the Houses of Parliament sit on the River Thames grandly overlooking the water. You can book tickets to take a guided tour and discover the history - not to mention the grandeur - of these iconic buildings. Be sure to get a photo outside the famous bell tower, better known as Big Ben.
The fascinating rock formations and fossils of the Jurassic Coast chart 185 million years of the Earth's history. Enjoy the coastal walks and cliff-top views of a natural World Heritage Site, and soak up some sea air at the same time. The South West Coast path runs its entire length and you'll find some truly spectacular walking here.
Durham Cathedral is one of Britain's most magnificent buildings and looms high on the city skyline today as it has for close to 1,000 years. It is one of the world's finest examples of Norman architecture and is a World Heritage Site.
One of England's most iconic monuments, Stonehenge has certainly stood the test of time. A relic from the distant Stone Age, the method of its construction remains a mystery to this day, but all sorts of colourful legends abound. 
Birthplace of Winston Churchill, Blenheim Palace is one of Britain's finest stately homes. It's surrounded by landscaped parkland, the handiwork of Capability Brown, and elegant formal gardens which make it an ideal place to explore on a sunny day. A triumph of romantic architecture, Blenheim Palace doubled in SPECTRE as the exterior of the villa where the SPECTRE meeting takes place.
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