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Fancy a day scrubbing a huge white horse..? MELANIE GAMBRILL invites you to join her…

A group of us are planning to give the Alton Barnes White Horse in Wiltshire a 'spring clean' as a symbolic preparation for the crop circle season in this, the year of the horse. We will be meeting for lunch at the ‘Barge Inn’ at Honeystreet from 11.30am on Sat 23 March. At about 1.00pm we will drive up to the Knap Hill car park and then proceed on foot up to the horse.

I have discussed the plan with Tim Carson, the farmer who is responsible for the upkeep of the horse, and he is supportive. We will pull up weeds and remove any debris from the chalk area of the horse, taking care to stamp down the chalk afterwards. If loose chalk is exposed it tends to get washed away by the rain, necessitating a re-chalking of the horse. We can deposit the spoils from this on the hill in an area away from the horse. We will also trim the grass at the edge of the horse to leave a clearly defined outline.

If you would like to join us you will need to bring the following:

1) A bucket or small container you can easily carry up to the horse to collect the weeds/grass etc. growing through the chalk.

2) Garden shears or transportable strimmer for trimming grass at the edge of the horse.

3) Gardening gloves.

4) Suitable shoes, as the chalk on the horse can be quite slippery.

Let me know if you are planning to join us, so I have a rough idea of numbers. E-mail:



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