The project received a grant from Natural England’s Higher Level Stewardship Scheme. It also depended heavily on voluntary contributions of labour and expertise from various sources, and an on-site contribution by the Dorset Rangers Service. The landowners also actively supported the restoration at every stage.
Following research during 2009, 160 tonnes of inappropriate limestone scalpings were removed during 2010. This was achieved with assistance from local businesses and by volunteers from a local Royal Engineers Training Unit, Dorset Army Cadets and a RN Sea King helicopter, along with contracted helicopter and ground removal services.
Oxford Archaeology were consulted about identifying the original monument outline, but it became clear that further expertise was needed. Consequently, Ordnance Survey and the English Heritage Archaeological Survey & Investigation team offered their expertise to identify and mark out the original monument outline.
During the first half of 2011, the expert volunteers from Ordnance Survey and English Heritage carried out extensive research of the monument’s original outline using widely disparate evidence. This ranged from oil paintings from the period, very old photographs and Ordnance Survey maps dating back to 1883, on-site analysis of earthworks, and use of the latest GPS and mapping technologies. A truly ground breaking piece of research.
Following final on-site evaluation, a restored monument outline was marked out in yellow eco-friendly paint. In parts this outline differed significantly from the familiar weather beaten and eroded figure. Once again it was time to call on those volunteers in the community who would now be needed to translate those yellow lines into a restored monument outline of which we could all be proud.
Over the Summer those volunteer teams have been engaged in cutting the newly restored outline into the hillside. On sunny days it is back breaking work in a beautiful setting, but on wet and miserable days it can be difficult and dangerous on the steep slope. Throughout it all however the enthusiasm and good spirits of all of the volunteers was indomitable, no doubt spurred on by the re-emerging George III on his Charger.
Original team site visit
During the summer of 2009, members of the Osmington White Horse Restoration Group met at the site to carry out a preliminary appraisal of what needed to be done. These photos provide a better indication of the scale of the monument.
Click the thumbnails for a bigger image.