THE ICONIC image of the Cerne Abbas Giant is set to be revitalised as it gets re-chalked in time for a special anniversary.

Volunteers and National Trust staff will spend two weeks this summer re-chalking every centimetre of the giant to give it back its distinctive white outline and restore it to its former glory.

A full re-chalking of the giant only takes place once every few years, and this year visitors are invited to get involved for the first time.

The giant was given to the National Trust to look after in July 1920 by the Pitt Rivers family, and the trust is planning a year of celebrations next year to mark the centenary. 

Over the next few weeks, dedicated National Trust volunteers and staff will spend time re-chalking the giant and ensuring he looks his best for the special anniversary.

National Trust countryside manager Natalie Holt said this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to be a part of the giant’s storied history. 

She said: “We do the re-chalking once every seven to ten years, the last time was in 2008.

“We have to do this every so often because it is on quite a steep cliff and the chalk gets washed away.

“It’s quite a big task and it is a massive event for us. So far we have about 170 people signed up.

“It’s a once in a generation kind of thing, you could come and take part and then tell people that you helped create the Cerne Abbas Giant.”

Standing at 55 metres tall and brandishing a 36.5 metre long club, the giant is Britain’s largest chalk hill figure and probably its best known, though its origins are shrouded in mystery. 

Different theories surround the giant’s identity and origin. 

Some claim he is an ancient symbol, perhaps a likeness of the Greco-Roman God Hercules, though the earliest recorded mention of the giant dates back only to the 1700s. 

Another popular theory suggests that he was created to mock Oliver Cromwell. 

Local folklore has long held the giant to be an aid to fertility. 

For the first time this year, the National Trust is offering special family volunteering days, when families with children are able to get involved in the re-chalking of the giant. 

Families can sign up for a two hour session on either August 29 or 31.

To book onto the restoration or find out more visit