THE Australian Badge carved into the hillside at Lamb Down in Codford was spruced up with its annual clean on Saturday.

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

The emblem of the Australian Army originates from the First World 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 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.

Every summer serving soldiers arrive to help maintain this important landmark.

When the work party comes off the hill they have a special buffet lunch donated by villagers organised by Dominique Beagley with a team of helpers.

This tradition, together with the ANZAC Day Service held at the Commonwealth War Grave Cemetery, has built strong bonds between Codford and the people of Australia and New Zealand.