A huge public art trail has launched in Swindon with dozens of Swindogs bringing “colour and vibrancy” to the town.

The Big Dog Art Trail, which is supporting Julia’s House Children’s Hospice, was officially opened on Saturday, July 15, when 30 six-feet-tall balloon dog sculptures and their 42 smaller Swinpups were revealed to the public.

People will now be able to visit all 72 sculptures, many of which were created by local artists and schools, at dozens of Swindon’s most well-known locations.

Panto stars Nathan Connor and David Ashley were present at a launch event for the Wyvern Theatre’s new dog, Julianna, on Saturday morning.

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Speaking at the Wyvern, Julia’s House deputy CEO Mike Bartlett said: “We’re looking forward to welcoming everyone to Swindon for the trail.

“A lot of hard work and support from the community has gone into this and we’ve had thousands of downloads of the app on day one.

“We’re hoping people from both inside and outside the town will come and enjoy the trail.”

The large sculptures were well received by members of the public who had set out on the Big Dog trail during its first day in operation.

Hilary Brooks, a Swindon resident who paid a visit to the Wyvern’s new dog, said: “It’s brilliant because it’s a really nice thing to do and it keeps children busy and interested.

“The sculptures are really vibrant and well thought out too.”

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Alex Dixon, who works at New College and was involved with painting one of the sculptures, was pleased the idea had brightened up areas across Swindon.

She added: “I just love art so it’s really nice to have accessible art that people can go and look at in Swindon.

“I really love the dogs and it’s nice to get some colour in the town.”

People can track down all the dogs by downloading The Big Dog Art Trail app which will provide rewards and information.

The dogs will remain on display in their current locations until September 3, when they will be brought together at the Steam Museum for a final farewell event.

The unique animal artworks will then be sold off at a special auction event to raise money for Julia’s House.

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Mr Bartlett hopes the art trail will raise the profile of the charity, which offers care and support for seriously ill children in Wiltshire.

He added: "If you're taking part, please consider making a donation to Julia's House charity to support the lifeline of care we provide to local families.”