The National Trust is welcoming volunteers to join the annual re-chalking of one of Britain' s iconic historic sites, the oldest White Horse.

From the 27th to the 28th of August at Uffington, volunteers are encouraged to take part in the annual makeover.

Spokesman Jacob Downey said it was an essential bit of conservation to be carried out.

"If the White Horse isn’t re-chalked within 50 years maximum, it would be covered in grass," he said.

The process, involving “hammers and a big bag of chalk”, prevents nature from creeping in through the chalk by adding a fresh layer. It also gives the horse a brighter appearance.

The midsummer scouring and “18th and 19th-century traditions” are a key part of the horse’s history.

James hopes that an intensive re-chalking, led by the local ranger and informed by expert archaeologists, will take place next year since the horse is now “50% narrower” than it was.

He added the modern event is not as raucous as it once was — the weekend used to be fuelled by heavy-drinking-induced festivities.

"What motivates people nowadays to get involved is a sense of being part of a great tradition," he said.

"The fact that people have done this for 3,500 years is what makes modern participants feel that real sense of connection with the past."