A NEW trail of 17 life sized hogs has appeared across Basingstoke.

Funded entirely through sponsorship from businesses across the region and designed and painted by local artists, the Hampshire Hogs trail is free for residents to enjoy over the next two months.

The sculptures have unique designs representing aspects of life, heritage, culture and countryside in Hampshire. Most are within walking distance of the town centre with others a few miles out giving everyone the chance to explore. When they are removed in mid-October, they will be auctioned for charity.

Felicity Edwards, managing director of organisers Destination Basingstoke, said: “It has been quite a journey to get this project off the ground with many challenges to overcome, but we knew it would be a great way to support our town after a tough year for all of us.

"We are so grateful for the support we have received from our partners and sponsors and of course the wonderful artists – what a talented lot they are.

"We hope that everyone will enjoy them and look after them so we can be sure they raise as much as possible for charity.”

Residents wanting to follow the trail can download the free app which guides users around the 17 hogs.

The trail was launched with a gathering of sponsors, partners and artists on Tuesday, with one of the hogs, named 'Our Community' by Laura Fisher, on show.

Beryl Huntingdon, managing director of Absolutely Offices, said: "Absolutely Offices were so pleased to be the first and main sponsor for this project, from the beginning we could see the potential of how an art trail could bring back some colour and positivity to our lives, and are delighted that Destination Basingstoke are making it happen.

"It is wonderful to see the trail finally in place and I am especially excited to see our Hog here, Laura’s design is inspired by the many people that make up our community.

"I hope it will make everyone smile as they come onto our site especially as one of our buildings is now a vaccination centre.

"I am also looking forward to the auction, when the positive legacy will continue by generating some funds for charities, who have been especially hard hit by the pandemic, including our charity Heartburn Cancer UK."