|'Pro-hunt slogan burnt into landmark hillside'
Evening Argus 15/9/04
Hunt supporters burned the words No Ban into grassland beside the famous Long Man of Wilmington. The 235ft downland chalk figure at Wilmington, near Eastbourne, was one of 14 countryside spots across the UK targeted by the Countryside Alliance. Round bales of hay were used to scorch the earth with 20m-high words ahead of today's debate by MPs to outlaw hunting with dogs.
In a move designed to stoke up support for their campaign, the group sought permission from landowners before making their stand. Organiser James Hallett said East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service was notified in advance and the fire was started about ten yards left of the Long Man. He said: "This was a signal to the Government we are coming for them. They have bitten off more than they can chew this time. The Government has chosen the path of prejudice and spite. The reaction it unleashes will be its own responsibility. The lighting of the No Ban fires are our signal to this Government that we will not be beaten by such bigotry and intolerance."
Firefighters in East Sussex received several calls from people driving along the A27 as the controlled fire was started. A fire brigade spokesman said: "Once we realised it was controlled burning, we just let it run its course and stuck around to make sure it didn't spread."
It is not the first time the ancient Long Man has been targeted. In July, vandals defaced the chalk figure with obscenities and anti-war slogans. A large appendage was added and slogans scrawled on the surrounding grass. However, the visual impact of the site has also been used to highlight charities and campaigns from National Hospice Month to World Sight Day.
Posted by Cursuswalker
20th July 2007ce
Edited 21st July 2007ce