The Cerne Abbas Giant - can he take credit for the high local birth rates?
Could a giant chalk carving of a man in a Dorset hillside be responsible for a baby boom? Well, if the birth rates in the surrounding villages and towns are anything to go by, the folklore might be true!
The 180-foot Cerne Abbas Giant has been said to promote fertility and cure childlessness since Victorian times, reports the Telegraph. Today, the women of North Dorset have an average of three children each, which is almost double the national average, the latest Office of National Statistics figures show. This birth rate is also nearly three times greater than the city-dwelling women of Westminster.
In the past, to promote fertility, locals would erect a maypole on the figure and the couples trying to conceive would dance. Folklore said that a woman who sleeps on the chalk drawing will be blessed with improved fertility. Also, it was thought that having sex on top of the carving might cure infertility. Or lead to a night in jail!