Giant chalk kiwi near Stonehenge given protection status
A giant chalk carving of a kiwi near Stonehenge in England has been given protected status.
The Bulford Kiwi, which stretches over 130 metres, was carved by New Zealand troops stationed at Bulford Hill at the end of World War I, as they waited to go home. It commemorates the lives lost and sacrifices made in the war.
The carving has been made a scheduled monument by the UK Department for Culture, Media and Sport, the BBC reported.
The protection order was issued to mark the centenary of the 1917 Battle of Messines in Belgium, in which New Zealand troops played a significant role. Another monument to the battle, the Terrain Model of Messine at Cannock Chase in Staffordshire, was also given protection status.
"These two monuments pay tribute to the bravery of New Zealand's fighting forces in the First World War and we are delighted that they are now being protected for the future," Roger Bowdler from Historic England said.
"The Bulford Kiwi was cut into the chalk at the end of the war by Kiwi soldiers themselves, to mark the presence of their forces in England, and their achievements at the front.
"The taking of the Messines ridge was one of the war's most stirring attacks, and this model lay-out remains as testimony to the planning which made possible the victory.
"One hundred years on, it is right to remember New Zealand's valour."
Sir Jerry Mateparae, New Zealand High Commissioner to the UK, said the move was "fantastic".
"The special connections that were forged 100 years ago, with communities in the UK where New Zealanders trained, are still strong today and it's moving to see these sites protected for generations to come."