It has been a little while since we have updated this site, but this does not mean we have not been active, far from it. As some of the visitors to this site will know the White Horse Stone has been desecrated by a wanton act of vandalism. At the end of March we discovered that some mindless creatures had sprayed the stone with red paint. The pictures posted clearly show the filth that was sprayed on the stone so there is no need for me to elaborate.
Whilst some people have chalked on the stone in the past damaging the lichens, moss and algae, this has not been a massive problem as it can be cleaned relatively easily, but spray paint is an altogether different matter. The sarsen stone is very porous and the paint caused serious damage to this ancient listed monument.
As soon as we became aware of the vandalism we reported it to English Heritage and of course to Kent Police. Our members wanted to take immediate action to remove the graffiti from the stone, but we knew that to remove the graffiti would require great care if we were to avoid damaging the stone further. So we decided to wait and hear from English Heritage as to what action would be appropriate. We waited and waited for a response from English Heritage and eventually, after much pushing from us, we had a site meeting along with all the interested parties including English Heritage, Mid Kent Downs Country Partnership, Kent County Council, the Land owner and several other interested bodies. All put in their points of view on the best way to tackle the graffiti, yet still protect the White Horse Stone.
After some considerable debate it was agreed by all present that the only feasible way was to allow the natural ageing and fading process to continue and do its work. Attempts by volunteers from the Kent Downs group to gently scrub the graffiti with a mild detergent had had little effect, other than cleaning the stone around the graffiti. We all agreed that it would be worth trying to speed up the ageing and fading process by applying natural yoghurt to the affected areas and encouraging new algae, moss and lichen growth. (This is a method often used to age pots, patios and rocks in gardens.)
A few days after the meeting we applied the first few coats of yoghurt. The graffiti has faded and there are signs of new algae growth, but this is going to be a very slow process. It will take a long time before the filth has weathered enough to no longer be visible.
The desecration of this sacred site has deeply angered and upset many people. We will continue to assist the Police in tracking down the mindless people that sprayed this ancient monument. We will also continue with our work to protect the White Horse Stone, and ensure that its setting is kept clean and tidy. We will continue to hold our rituals there, to honour our ancestors and our holy Gods and Goddesses, these things we swear in Odin’s name.
Category: The Stone