Guardians of the White Horse Stone
On March 22nd 1987 members of the Odinic Rite conducted “Operation Guardian” during which they cleared away undergrowth and built steps (which remain today) to allow access to the stone. The group called themselves Guardians of the White Horse Stone and looked after the area around the stone but activities were sporadic and disorganised.
Some time later, members were involved in a campaign to route the Channel Tunnel Rail Link away from the stone and activities included leafleting local residents and talking with them to garner support for the campaign. Evidence was also given to a parliamentary select committee about the impact of the CTRL on the area including the impact on religious practices at the stone.
Although Odinic Rite members would continue to gather at the White Horse Stone for religious ceremonies and would clear any litter they found in the immediate area, the Guardians project fell by the wayside.
Following the first threat to the White Horse Stone by telecommunications company Orange in 2004, members of The Odinic Rite decided to reform and formalise the Guardians of the White Horse Stone and it became an official part of the Odinic Rite. This group meets regularly at the stone and have removed items ranging from a slot machine, carpet tiles, builders waste and car body parts from the area surrounding the stone and other local sites such as Shoulder of Mutton Wood.
In 2008 the Guardians, having cleared all the litter and fly-tipped waste from the area, turned their attention back to the immediate area of the stone and began a programme of rebuilding the bank either side of the steps to the stone which over the past 20 years has severely eroded due to weather, pedestrians and cyclists. The rebuilt banks have been planted with suitable indigenous plants provided by the Woodland Trust.
Taking a lead from the Guardians of the White Horse Stone, Odinic Rite members around the world have embarked on their own Guardians projects including litter picking, tree planting and generally taking good care of special places.