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Women living near the Cerne Abbas Giant are more fertile

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Photo: ALAMY

The naked 180ft Cerne Abbas Giant – thought to be thousands of years old – is carved out in the chalk downs in North Dorset.

Women living near the carving have an average of three children in their lifetime – a national record.

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They are the highest birth-per female figures in Britain for more than 40 years.

Locals think the giant could be having an inspirational effect on couples in the area.

Nursery manager Katie Raine said the increasing number of children at the Archway Nursery in Pimperne – which is in sight of the Giant – were living proof of the findings.

“We can take 73 children in any one day and we’re absolutely chock-a-block,” she said.

“We have a baby unit for five infants, and that’s booked until next year, so there’s definitely a baby-boom on.”

The findings, from a survey of 10,000 North Dorset women aged between 15 and 44, placed the district at the top of the charts, leaving the London borough of Westminster at the bottom, with just 1.16 children per woman.

Samantha Beadman, deputy manager of Winterbournes Day Nursery in Winterbourne Kingston, said news of the area’s chart-topping fertility rate came as a surprise.

The new figures are based on research conducted last year. The findings showed a drop in the fertility rate for the first time since 2001.

Birth rates had been rising steadily since the millennium, reaching 1.97 per woman in 2008, from a base line of 1.65 in 2000.

North Dorset’s survey-topping fertility rate beats the highest recorded national average, when figures recorded in 1964 revealed women were likely to produce 2.93 children in a lifetime.

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