ONE of the 17 life-sized hogs created as part of a free art trail around Basingstoke has been vandalised just days after going on display when its tail was broken off.

The Hampshire Hogs trail was launched on Tuesday by Destination Basingstoke, with the sculptures all designed and painted by local artists representing aspects of life, heritage, culture, and countryside in Hampshire.

The popular piggies, who can be found by chance or by downloading a special app, will be auctioned off to raise money for charity in October.

Destination Basingstoke’s managing director Felicity Edwards expressed her disappointment that one of the sculptures had already been vandalised.

The nature inspired hog, called Sylvester, was created by artist Jillian Smith, and is located by the fountains near Eastrop Park.

A sign has been placed on the sculpture saying: “Sadly, Sylvester has been assaulted. We hope this won’t harm the enjoyment of visitors to this beautiful art piece created with hours of love and talent by our artist Jillian.

“We have patched him up (just a sticking plaster really!) and hope we can get him repaired so he can still be auctioned for charity, as we would hate for one person’s moment of madness to stop him raising lots of money for charity. Please don’t harm him any further.”

Felicity told the Gazette: “It’s a big shame. They are there for everyone’s enjoyment and they are going to be sold for charity so any damage could impact on that and people’s enjoyment. It’s sad and disappointing for the artist and sponsor.

“We hope people will respect and enjoy the hogs and look after them. They are something really positive for the town.”

However, she said the first few days of the trail had otherwise been a huge success, with more than 700 people already having downloaded the app.

She hopes the vandalism does not detract from the positivity of the project, adding: “There’s so much positivity about it on social media.

“It’s been a very long time coming. It’s the result of an incredible partnership between lots of people and we think it’s something great for the town and good for Destination Basingstoke. We are only small but we do big things which people appreciate and value.”

All the hog sculptures have signs on them asking people not to sit on or harm them. 

For more information about the Hampshire Hogs trail visit