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THE Cherhill White Horse is currently undergoing his winter clean-up thanks to the Cherhill Scout Group.

white green horseThe figure at Cherhill was first cut in 1780 by a Dr Christopher Alsop, of Calne and is the third oldest of several such white horses in Great Britain, with only the Uffington White Horse and the Westbury White Horse being older.

At this time of year, the group give the horse a dig over in order to make him fully visible by Christmas.  All of the group members working up there are adding hours to their Community Impact Staged Activity Scouts Badge.

A recent post on social media asking why the horse was green, prompted a huge response with many people offering to help to work on the horse.

Scout leader Cathy Riley told us: "Unlike the big re-chalkings, we don't organise big community efforts for the winter cleaning as with digging the chalk over you drop bits on anyone working below you, and because of the wetter weather this time of year and the degree of slope, it's also very slippy so we encourage little work parties of 4 - 6 so if members of the public come up to help, we can safely work together without any accidents.

white horse winter dig1"We are always very happy if anyone wants to help, they just need good boots - not wellies they're very slippy on chalk - a garden fork and to be fit enough to walk up there and back carrying their fork as well as the digging up there.

"If a member of the public wants to dig with us rather than on their own they can always use our Facebook page to contact us and we'll let them know the next time some of us are up there."

It is hoped that a full re-chalk, taking eighteen tonnes of chalk,  will be able to go ahead next year in the early summer.

In the meantime you can keep up to date with the clean up process by visiting the Cherhill Scout Group Facebook page .

Cathy said: "We update each week so everyone can see the next bit of horse that's been revealed.

"We've got a tail and rump visible now."


Photo credit: 1) Andrew Duncan 2) Cherhill Scout Group