Please don’t climb on the pigs - organisers of Pigs Gone Wild urge people to look after the sculptures as early indications show trail is proving a hit in Ipswich

Andrew and Julie Bristow with daughter Rebecca (8) have seen all of the 'Pigs Gone Wild' around Ipsw

Andrew and Julie Bristow with daughter Rebecca (8) have seen all of the 'Pigs Gone Wild' around Ipswich. - Credit: Archant

Meet Andrew, Julie and Rebecca Bristow - one of the first families to have completed the Pigs Gone Wild trail in Ipswich.The trio, from Cambridge Drive, Ipswich, went out last weekend and ticked off every single pig.

Andrew and Julie Bristow with daughter Rebecca (8) have seen all of the 'Pigs Gone Wild' around Ipsw

Andrew and Julie Bristow with daughter Rebecca (8) have seen all of the 'Pigs Gone Wild' around Ipswich. - Credit: Archant

“We’ve loved it, we’ve had great fun,” said dad Andrew. “Rebecca has loved finding them all, she’s almost been leading the way.”

The eight-year-old is a pupil at The Willows Primary School.

“It’s like nothing I’ve ever seen before,” added Andrew.

Labelled as ‘like nothing ever seen before’, the Pigs Gone Wild trail in Ipswich has officially enraptured thousands of people.

Rebecca Bristow, 8, on the Pigs Gone Wild Trail

Rebecca Bristow, 8, on the Pigs Gone Wild Trail - Credit: Archant

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Footfall figures since the popular trail was launched are yet to be confirmed, however organisers have revealed that a special app designed to help people follow the pigs has been downloaded 1,040 times and 5,719 pigs have been scanned using either the QR code scanner or the GPS location capture.

Julie added they became hooked when Rebecca came out after her swimming lesson at Crown Pools and spotted Spider-Pig.

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Chief executive of Ipswich Central Paul Clement was cautious to say too much before the footfall figures were published but praised the event for helping people to see more of what Ipswich had to offer.

“What I’ve noticed is that large numbers of people have been around with the guides following the trail,” he said, “and therefore going to areas of Ipswich they might not otherwise have discovered.

“It’s early days but the indications are it’s bringing people to the town and making them stay longer.”

Julie concurred, saying they had been impressed with the scale of the trail.

“I didn’t think it would be quite as big as that,” she said. “It takes us to Holywells Park. I thought it would be just the town centre.”

Norman Lloyd, Pigs Gone Wild project manager, said: “It’s brilliant seeing so many families doing the trail with such enthusiasm. People really seem to be connecting with the pigs – but not only that, they’re connecting with each other.

“I’ve seen complete strangers talking to each other whilst gathered round the sculptures. It really does seem to be bringing people together. It’s fabulous to think that we’ve helped to play a part in bringing that sense of community to the town.”

Norman added: “We’re so happy that people have taken the pigs to their hearts, so please help to look after them. We know they’re loveable but please don’t climb on them in case they get damaged.”

Traders in the town centre have also spoken enthusiastically about Pigs Gone Wild, saying the initial signs are it has brought more people through the door.

Kate Dickinson, of Jenny Wren’s Yarns in St Peter’s Street, said: “Over the weekend we had 85 people through the door which is quite a lot for a sunny Saturday, and at least half of them were coming just to look at the pig.”

The shop, which has been there for three years and sells yarns and knitting and crochet gear, has a pig from Rushmere Hall Primary School named Nature’s Gone Wild.

“We’re getting people through the door which is good, people who didn’t know we were here before,” Kate added.

“It’s getting people moving around, and people have been visiting Ipswich.

“I’ve had people come in who’ve said we’ve just come up for the day to see the pigs.

“Hopefully it will raise lots of money for the charity too.”

The trail has been running since June 27 and lasts until September 2.

St Elizabeth Hospice teamed up with Wild in Art for the event, featuring 39 pig sculptures designed by artists from East Anglia and beyond, plus 30 junior sculptures decorated by schools and community groups.

In September, the pigs will be auctioned to raise funds for St Elizabeth Hospice.

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