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

Defence Infrastructure Organisation (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.

Sir Jerry Mateparae, the New Zealand High Commissioner said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed meeting and working with so many willing volunteers today. The links between the UK and New Zealand are still strong and it has been touching to see so many people involved in looking after and protecting the kiwi for generations to come. It has been great to be involved in helping to protect and restore such a significant monument.”

The kiwi stretches to 130 metres (420 feet) high across Beacon Hill and is a much loved monument locally, nationally and internationally.