A hill figure (chalk figure) is a large visual representation created by cutting into a steep hillside and revealing the underlying geology. It is a type of image usually designed to be seen from afar rather than above. In some cases trenches are dug and rubble made from material brighter than the natural bedrock is placed into them.
Hill figures are common in England: examples include the Cerne Abbas giant, the Uffington White Horse, the Long Man of Wilmington, various badges of military units as well as the “lost” carvings at Cambridge, Oxford and Plymouth Hoe.
1. Uffington White Horse, Oxfordshire. Length: 114 m (374 ft)
Around five miles from the town of Wantage, the Uffington White Horse is a stylish figure, which is believed to be about 3,000 years old. Other prehistoric sites, such as Wayland’s Smithy, a neolithic tomb, are located nearby.
In 2002, the horse was used for a pro-hunting publicity stunt, with the temporary addition of a rider and three hounds.