Among the many projects we have been involved in over the last year or so, the Osmington White Horse is one that stands out for me.
The figure was cut into the hillside over 200 years ago to honour King George III and is 280 feet long and 320 feet high. When you are up close it’s amazing how huge it actually is. Over time, the figure had deteriorated badly and the original figure had become overgrown and ill-defined. Hundreds of volunteers came together to clear 160 tonnes of superfluous stone chippings, having much of it lifted by helicopter off the hill. Ordnance Survey and English Heritage worked with the group to identify the original outline from old maps, paintings and photographs and plot the outline using modern GPs technology.
The Osmington Society set about trying to improve the figure in 2009 in advance of the 2012 Olympics when the sailing events were held in Weymouth Bay and the figure was seen around the world.
The society – an amazing group of local people with a desire to improve the heritage in their area – enlisted the help of Natural England, English Heritage and Ordnance Survey to try to identify the original outline. And their efforts were recognised last year when HRH The Princess Royal formally acknowledged the monument and unveiled a plaque recognising all the hard work that had gone on to restore it.
And now, it’s up for an award and I’d like to ask all our blog readers to take the time to vote for it.
The English Heritage Angel Awards are recognising the efforts of some amazing volunteers who have put hours and hours into breathing life into some of our heritage.
Voting closes at midnight on 8 September, so please take a moment and vote for the work of an amazing group of people who put in some great effort to restore the monument which people saw in the Olympics coverage all over the world.