ANYBODY who has been to Royal Wootton Bassett recently may have noticed families and groups of people frantically searching for something. 

But there’s nothing sinister going on. They’re just trying to get their hands on an adorable Roamin’ Gnome – a labour of love of keen clay hobbyist Kirsty Grant.

When the 45-year-old isn't training dogs for her day job she is creating little gnomes out of polymer clay and in the late evenings or early hours of the morning she hides them around the town for people to find. 

The little figures have received a huge reaction online and now the community is clamouring to get their hands on one of the popular handmade creatures. 

Kirsty said: “I really was surprised by how much people have embraced this – it’s a path well blazed by the rock painting groups so that sort of concept was already there and people were already on board with the idea of a little treasure hunt. 

“I was surprised at the reaction, but very pleased, it’s exactly what I was hoping for, because it’s making people happy and joyful and I’m glad that they’re getting fun and joy out it."

Kirsty has set up a Facebook group which gives people hints on where they can find some as well as encourages people to post pictures of the gnomes they have discovered. 

She said: “Although gnomes are territorial they don’t like being in the same place, so I ask people that find more than one gnome to only keep their favourite and leave the others for someone else.”

Unlike painted rocks, people are encouraged to keep Kirsty’s one-of-a-kind creations, sparking huge demand.

“I’ve seen people scouring the streets in the dark and the cold at 10pm at night," she said.

“People are so keen to get them that I’ve had to start altering when I put them out. 

Like many others, Kirsty picked up polymer clay modelling as a lockdown hobby and is thrilled it is now giving the people of Royal Wootton Bassett so much happiness

She said: “I love craft anyway. I love learning new craft techniques, knitting, crochet, weaving. I love ceramics, I love clay work.

“But the problem with clay is that unless it’s kiln fired it’s quite fragile so I happened upon polymer clay. It’s a nice, satisfying, hands-on little craft that you can do quite cheaply and quite easily at home.”

Each gnome takes Kirsty a number of hours to create which she feels is time well spent. 

She has also been approached by people who want to buy them, but Kirsty says she will never charge and is happy to give them away for the happiness it brings.