OVER the first May Bank Holiday weekend the National Trust is inviting local residents and visitors to help them re-chalk one of the oldest chalk figures in the country, the White Horse at Uffington in Oxfordshire.

To keep the world-famous landmark white, the 3,000 year-old horse is re-chalked once a year. Over the centuries, the annual re-chalking of the White Horse became a well-known, large-scale public event until it was finally banned after the 1857 gathering when it attracted over 30,000 visitors and travellers, many of whom were reluctant to move on. This year, there will be opportunities for people of all ages to get involved pounding in the new chalk. Instructions and equipment will be provided and National Trust rangers and volunteers will be on site to provide advice and encouragement.

National Trust ranger, Andy Foley, said: “This is a great opportunity for people to provide real hands-on help in looking after our local heritage. It’s quite a spectacle even for those who aren’t actually pounding the chalk.”

There are limited slots every half hour, of which more than one can be booked, or turn up and watch.

To book a slot call the National Trust Estate Office at Coleshill on 01793 762209.