Landscapes for Life 'National Moment' at the Cerne Giant

Join us on the 21st September for a mass picnic before we create an enormous heart in one our most iconic spots, the Cerne Giant.

Cerne Giant (c) Tony Gill

Show YOUR love for the Dorset landscape

Gather together at the iconic Cerne Abbas Giant and help create Dorset’s giant human heart!

On Saturday 21st September, people across the country will be creating hearts in the landscape to show their love and appreciation for our Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs). This unique event launches a week-long celebration to mark Dorset AONB’s 60th birthday, as well as 70 years since AONBs and National Parks were first established.

Here in the Dorset AONB, we’ve chosen the iconic Cerne Giant to create our enormous heart but can’t do it without you! Please join us for a celebratory picnic followed by FREE tea and cake for everyone helping us form the heart.

Ear Trumpet by Gobbledegook Theatre, Inside Out Dorset 2014, Photo: Rik Irons-Mclean

In a short ceremony, led by artist Lorna Rees and featuring a new poem written by Poet Laureate Simon Armitage, we’ll commemorate the 70th anniversary of the extraordinary vision which led to the creation of the AONBs as well as the 60th anniversary of the Dorset AONB.

Experts will be on hand to tell you about why the Cerne Giant is quite such a special place and will also talk about why the AONBs are so important for them personally as well as for the Nation.

Hearts in the landscape

AONBs across the country agreed on the heart symbol to show their love for the landscape. At the Cerne Giant, we need lots of people to help us form a heart which is big enough to be seen from far and wide.

At 2pm, we will ask people to form a heart alongside the Giant, which will be photographed from the air. But please do come early for a picnic and words from Lorna Rees and other landscape lovers beforehand! (see not on timings below)

To make a real statement, if you have something RED to wear or wrap round you, please do bring it with you. Don’t worry, it will only be a fleeting part of the landscape, after we’ve all gone home there will be nothing left to see.


Cerne Giant, Dorchester

Date and times


  • All places FREE

Getting there

You can find directions to the Cerne Giant on the National Trust website

Please park in the public car park opposite Cerne Abbas Village Hall. If the car park is full, there is a public car park in Cerne Abbas village and you can follow the footpath along the river to get to the bottom of Giant Hill.

Walking to the Giant


There is a public footpath from the car park to the bottom of Giant Hill (10 minute walk). From the bottom of the Hill you have two options to reach us at the top of Giant Hill, where you will find the AONB team to welcome you:

Short and sharp route (20 minutes to top of Giant Hill from car park): follow the very steep slope alongside the Giant fence to get to the top. Footwear with good grips help for this option. OR

Longer route (40 minutes to top of Giant Hill from car park): follow the less steep path onto the top of the ridge (30 minutes), with great views and beautiful chalk downland flowers and butterflies to enjoy along the way.

Both options will be signed along the route, no map needed.

What you will need to bring

• Do bring a picnic but tea and cake will be provided – bring a hot drinks cup if you have on

• The footpaths on Giant Hill are rough, so outdoor footwear is recommended.
• At the top of the Hill it can feel colder than down below if the wind is strong, so extra layers may be needed.
• Be prepared for whatever the British weather may throw at us, there is no shelter on the Hill!
• If you have something RED to wear or wrap round you, please do bring it with you.


Photos and film will be taken on the ground and from the air during this event and these will be used in publicity to celebrate the anniversary, by the Dorset AONB Partnership and its partners. All images will be used and stored in line with our Privacy Policy.  If you do not wish to be included in images taken during the event, please talk to one of the AONB team on your arrival.

Timings and booking

This event is free and no booking is required … just turn up!

We envisage the following timings:

  • From 12.30pm: Bring a picnic and enjoy the views
  • 1.45: Artist Lorna Rees will lead the celebrations with her unique take on what makes the Dorset landscape so special.
  • 2.00: Reading of the specially commissioned poem by poet Laureate Simon Armitage, read by Lorna Rees, followed by creating a heart on the hill
  • 2.20(ish): Celebratory cake and tea as a thank you!

Thank you to the National Trust and Minterne Estate for allowing us access to the Giant for our celebrations.