Volunteers spruce up the Cerne Abbas giant

A team of National Trust wardens and volunteers in west Dorset will give the 17th-century Cerne Abbas giant a makeover this week.

Having a ball: volunteers give the giant a dusting down
Having a ball: volunteers give the giant a dusting down

The giant, whose origins are unknown, gets cleaned every 20 years to remove lichen, algae and weeds.

Volunteers will remove a 10cm layer of chalk from the 180-foot naked figure and replace it with 17 tonnes of fresh chalk, which will be solidified using water. It will be dusted with chalk again in seven to 10 years to keep it looking fresh.

Ron Rhodes, the National Trust's head warden for west Dorset, said: "A small army of volunteers will be spending a week removing the old chalk and giving him a fresh new bright look."

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