The iconic Long Man of Wilmington is to be given a facelift by local scouts next month.
Scouts from Hailsham and Hellingly are among the group of volunteers who will be repainting the chalk figure on Saturday June 1 throughout the day.
It has been organised by the 1st Hellingly Scout Group and is part of the National Scout Community Week.
The painting gets underway at 10.30am and will be done in groups of scouts working in hourly shifts because they are only allowed a maximum of 40 people on the site to prevent erosion.
There will be a maximum of 20 scouts working in pairs painting the giant and each wave will paint a different section of him.
The key organising leaders are Andy Wylliem the group scout leader at 1st Hellingly, who is co-ordinating this event with the Sussex Archaeological Society, Scout HQ media dept, the National Trust and B&Q which donated the paint.
Scout leader at 1st Hellingly Kevin Brundle is in close contact with the landowners and the ground keeper and Kim Allfrey, the district commissioner, is co-ordinating the district troops.
A spokesperson for the scouts said, “Eastbourne B&Q is the sponsor and they have kindly agreed to supply the masonry paint and brushes. The Long Man Brewery is going to run a barbecue at nominal prices for parents and supporters. The week beforehand the participating scouts will be raising awareness of the event and collecting at B&Q in Eastbourne for a local charity.
“The idea was developed by one of the local scouts whose father works the land around the Long Man for the Ellis’ of Litlington. They began talking and his scout leader Kevin came up with the idea of painting the Long Man and asked the other troops in the district if they would be interested and it was unanimously supported.”
The Long Man of Wilmington, formerly often known as the Wilmington Giant, or locally as the Green Man, is 69.2 metres (227 ft) tall, holds two “staves”, and is designed to look in proportion when viewed from below.
Formerly thought to originate in the Iron Age or even the neolithic period, more recent archaeological work has shown the figure may have been cut in the 16th or 17th century AD.
In 1925, the site of the Long Man was given to the Sussex Archaeological Society by the Duke of Devonshire. During the Second World War it was painted green to avoid it being used as a landmark by German aircraft. At dawn on May Day, the Long Man Morris Men dance at the foot of the Long Man and the landmark also hosts neo-pagan rituals.