The Osmington White Horse Restoration Project

An Osmington Society Community Project

This Community Project was born in May 2009. With the approaching Sailing Olympics in Weymouth Bay, when this National Monument will appear prominently in worldwide TV coverage, the Osmington Society joined with an existing working group to initiate a restoration Project. As well as community members and local Councillors it comprised experts from Dorset Rangers Service, the Council’s Historic Environment Service, Dorset AONB Partnership, English Heritage and Natural England. The objective was to restore the monument to its original form.

This project was a significant physical, financial and intellectual challenge due to the steepness of the sitWhite horsee, the need to remove an exceptionally large amount of material and the paucity of records regarding the monument’s origins. The White Horse is also in the middle of a Site of Special Scientific Interest, which placed significant restrictions on the movement of materials. There was also no obvious source of funding, with Lottery support being unavailable due to the monument being on private land.

After completion of the project we will have a National Monument to be proud of when its image is beamed around the world as a backcloth to the Sailing Olympics in 2012. Furthermore, that precise outline will be preserved for posterity on Ordnance Survey records and the English Heritage National Monuments Record.