The Devizes Millennium White Horse is to undergo its first major clean-up since it was created by volunteers seven-and-a-half years ago.

The chalk hill figure, unusually running from left to right, is to undergo a facelift over the weekend of April 14 and 15 and the committee that oversaw its creation on land at Roundway Down are appealing for volunteers to help return it to its gleaming white condition.

Sarah Padwick, a member of the Cavaliers of the Devizes Millennium White Horse, said: "We invite as many people as possible from the surrounding communities to come and join forces on the site of the White Horse to help uproot the grasses, weeds and moss."

News of the clean-up has pleased Tim Lewis, of Beckhampton, who on a trek across the Wessex Ridgeway, compared the Devizes White Horse with the refurbished one at Westbury.

He said: "What a shame that the civic pride which led to this White Horse being created to celebrate the Millennium does not seem to have lasted longer than the first couple of years of that Millennium.'' The Cavaliers will be hoping the weather will be kinder to them when the figure was cut in September 1999.

Volunteers struggled against high winds and torrential rain to cut the outline of the figure.

Workers will gather at 10am on Saturday April 14 at the top of Roundway Hill. They are asked to bring along garden forks, rakes, refuse bags, a wheelbarrow if possible and a picnic lunch.

It is hoped the work will be completed by Saturday. For details call Mrs Padwick on (01380) 721595.