05 Jul 2018

DIO restores Bulford Kiwi monument on Salisbury Plain

A historic chalk monument on Salisbury Plain has been restored by the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) with the help of partners and the local community.

DIO has worked with partners Landmarc Support Services (Landmarc), the army, the New Zealand High Commission and local volunteers to restore a kiwi carved into the chalk on Beacon Hill, above the town of Bulford in Wiltshire. Affectionately known as the ‘Bulford Kiwi’, it was created in 1919 by soldiers from New Zealand at the end of World War I as they awaited their return home.

The figure has recently become a scheduled monument, which means it is recognised as a nationally important archaeological site and it is now protected from destruction or change. The monument has been looked after by the New Zealand High Commission and various local groups and companies over the years.

As part of a conservation project to ensure the historic significance of the kiwi is preserved, 100 tonnes of chalk were dropped from an RAF Chinook helicopter and raked into place by volunteers from the 3rd (UK) Division Signal Regiment, Operation Nightingale (a project established jointly by the DIO and The Rifles, which sees ill and injured service personnel and veterans assisting archaeologists with excavations on the defence estate) Landmarc, the New Zealand High Commission and local conservation groups.

Richard Osgood, DIO archaeologist, said: “Thank you to everyone who has worked together to get the kiwi looking its best again. It has been a truly collaborative effort and we are also grateful for the involvement and support of the High Commissioner of New Zealand.

“It has been a brilliant project to be involved in and is a perfect example of the work that DIO does to protect and maintain the many historic sites across the estate.”

image UK MOD © Crown Copyright 2018

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