We love pigs so much we used one for our logo! One of our favourite breeds, the Gloucester Old Spot, used to be a common sight in the county. The breed is known as the Orchard Pig as they used to roam around the orchards of the Severn Vale polishing off apples that had fallen to the ground from the abundance of trees lining the River Severn.
A slow growing, fatty pig, packed with flavour; the Gloucester Old Spot produces fantastic quality meat. Along with many other traditional breeds though, it is not favoured in commercial production as it grows slowly and enjoys outdoor pastures.
The Gloucester Old Spot has sadly been on the rare breed list for many years and was previously saved from complete extinction. However, it is not out of the woods quite yet. Last year it was reported that the number of breeding sows had almost halved in just 2 years with only 416 sows registered in 2016.
With this in mind, now is a great time to raise the profile of our county’s beloved pig. If you’ve stopped in to see us recently at Gloucester Services, you may have noticed some recent additions to our sites. We have welcomed two porcine friends as part of the Gloucestershire Old Spot Trail, featuring Henson’s Pig. Throughout the summer the whole city and surrounding area are hosting a collection of Old Spot pig sculptures, designed by local schools and community groups and created by dozens of local artists.
The trail is named in honour of Joe Henson who championed traditional rare breeds on his farm near Cirencester, Gloucestershire.
We are lucky enough to be hosting 2 pigs this summer. On our northbound site you’ll be able to find ‘This Little Piggy Went to Market’ by artist Lee O’Brien and on our southbound site we have ‘Perry pig’, created by Rachel Shilston.
If you stop and take a selfie, don’t forget to tag us @glouc_services.
You can download your free map, showing all the sculpture locations here.