Wiltshire Publications

White Horse to be centre of heritage project

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THE iconic Westbury White Horse could feature in an ambitious project to increase locals’ and visitors’ understanding of its heritage with the hope of increasing tourism in the area. 

A ‘Landscape of the White Horses Project’ is being planned by North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). They have approached Westbury Town Council and English Heritage, owners of the site, for support and hope the project will be funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The project will seek to include events, education and celebrations around the nine carved chalk hill horse figures across Wiltshire and Oxfordshire, including Westbury’s.

Westbury Town Council agreed to support the project during a highways, planning and development meeting on Monday 17th June. This will allow the town improvement working group to continue discussions with AONB and English Heritage about different ideas that could be implemented across the town and surrounding area.

Senior project development & funding officer at the North Wessex Downs AONB, Ewa Prokop said, “I have been meeting with various stakeholders active in and around these locations to discuss ideas and support for such a project.  

“We are in early discussions with Westbury Town Council and English Heritage regarding possibilities in and around the Westbury White Horse landscape. 

“The AONB plans to send an Expression of Interest to the National Lottery Heritage Fund in August 2019 which will broadly outline project aspirations covering the whole project area. 

“If approved, securing of funding to implement the project and finalising of detail will take around two years. The project will aim, in one way or another, to fulfil the key outcomes expected by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, which are that; a wider range of people will be involved in heritage;  heritage will be in better condition; heritage will be identified and better explained; people will have developed skills; people will have learned about heritage, leading to change in ideas and actions; people will have greater wellbeing; the AONB will be more resilient; the local area will be a better place to live, work or visit; the local economy will be boosted.

“It’s a long process to secure National Lottery Heritage Funding, so we need to remain patient and optimistic.

“The North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty team is hoping to develop and deliver a project based on the theme of the ‘Landscape of the White Horses’, but the staff need your help!  Please take a couple of minutes to complete the brief survey in the attached link.  Answering the questions will help the AONB team better understand the extent to which the White Horses are valued as well as tap your thoughts on how funding to support the project should be spent.  Please complete the survey by 31st October 2019 and share the link with others, so that they may participate.”


One Response to White Horse to be centre of heritage project

  1. Paul Adams

    July 8, 2019 at 8:12 am

    Before any heritage project is put in place action is urgently needed to protect the horse. Look at the area around the head and in particular the ears. It no longer looks like a head! The stone ear is now protruding above the walkway and its only a matter of time before its broken off.

    The damage is easily visible in the photograph that accompanies the article.

    Westbury Town Council needs to act NOW to prevent permanent damage, even if it means roping the off the horse.