The Australian Badge on the hillside at Lamb Down in Codford was spruced up with its annual clean at the start of the month.

Forty volunteers, including serving members of the Australian Army, locals and children, spent the morning on the steep slopes of the Down re-cutting the iconic hill figure – also known as The Codford Badge and The Rising Sun.

The emblem of the Australian Army originates from the Great War. It was cut in 1916 when the troops nicknamed the site Misery Hill after having to climb it with full packs, then strip off to exercise, often in bitter winds.

The clean-up is organised by the Codford Badge Committee, chaired by Tom Thornton, and every summer serving soldiers arrive to help maintain the 98-year-old landmark.

The present design was cut in a simplified form after the Second World War, having been covered over during the hostilities to prevent it acting as a navigational aid for enemy aircraft.

When the work party comes off the hill they have a buffet lunch donated by villagers, organised by Dominique Beagley with a team of helpers. This tradition, together with the ANZAC Day Service held in the Commonwealth War Grave cemetery, has built strong bonds between Codford and the peoples of Australia and New Zealand.