The giant White Horse hill figure above the Channel Tunnel entrance was constructed to mark the millennium, with the help of soldiers from the Royal Gurkha Rifles in 2003.
This dramatic modern interpretation of the Invicta White Horse – the symbol of the county of Kent – is now writ large in this uniquely British traditional folk art form, and greets millions of visitors to and from the Continent.
It has since also become a proud icon for the south-east Kent area and was adopted by Folkestone and Shepway District Council as the authority’s logo.
Creating a full size temporary installation laid out in situ provided an opportunity for local public engagement, and shared vision of the art work. The test design also offered a template for the latter permanent installation.
Located on private North Down land on a Site of Special Scientific interest, every consideration needed to be taken to preserve the delicate upland. A team of volunteers and army engineers laboured over the construction under the direction of the artist Charles Newington.
The White Horse has been in place for 15 years now and requires minimal maintenance, with seasonal strimming and edging and occasional cleaning.
The history of the White Horse and the artist is now widely used as educational material for universities, schools and colleges.