THE fearsome-looking Dorset Ooser returned to its home in a village near Dorchester.

This Ooser, the Dorset representation of a horned god, was made by morris man John Byfleet and is a replica of one from Melbury Osmond.

Mr Byfleet's Ooser is now usually on display at the Dorset County Museum but it is taken out to participate in morris dances on May Day and on a few other occasions.

The Wessex Morris Men took the beast to Melbury Osmond and danced in the street to celebrate the occasion. Alan Cheeseman, who carries the Ooser in the dances, said: "It is carved from elm and very heavy. It is fearsome and could scare people even today."

Mr Cheeseman usually carries the Ooser to the top of the Cerne Abbas giant before sunrise on May Day.

In the past, Oosers were used to frighten errant wives and naughty children.

The Wessex Morris Men will be dancing at Gillingham festival on Sunday, July 9, at noon.