CHILDREN who helped restore the Alton Barnes White Horse this summer were left in tears after Extinction Rebellion protesters defaced it with an hourglass logo on Sunday.

Rob Sutherland, who organised the clean-up which involved military helicopters, with the help of his daughter Mollie, 11, said the youngsters from Woodborough Primary School were devastated and some were left in tears.

He said: "The children are all aware of the issues around climate and they want to make it better.

"But they can't comprehend why the white horse was chosen for this. Hundreds of people helped re chalk it in August.

It took two attempts in July and August for the White Horse in the Pewsey Vale to be re-chalked after the first attempt to fly in a Chinook had to be aborted because of bad weather.

A few days later when the helicopter returned school children and villagers helped to spread the tons of chalk on the horse and then returned again to finish the long job.

They were delighted with the pristine finish.

A number of people took to Facebook to condemn the climate change activists and said that even though cloth was used to create the logo the re-chalking could have been damaged by people walking on the horse.

It is cordoned off to stop people getting too close.