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Page last updated at 17:10 GMT, Tuesday, 25 August 2009 18:10 UK
The biggest boar in the world?

By Fay Yeomans
BBC York & North Yorkshire

Giant knitted pig
Last year one of the star attractions was 'Rainboar', a huge knitted pig

People from the village of Ripley in North Yorkshire are aiming for a world record by knitting the biggest pig ever!

Soon after the foot and mouth outbreak of 2001, villagers in Ripley and Burnt Yates decided to hold a scarecrow festival.

The idea, put forward by parishioners at All Saints Church, was to encourage people back into the countryside after the epidemic.

Residents came up with the unique idea of giving all the scarecrows homemade pigs' heads to commemorate the area's historic links with boars which came about back in the 14th century.

School pupils knitting
Knitters have come from within the church, community and local school

In 1355, Thomas de Ingilby of Ripley fought off wild boars, which were attacking the King, Edward III. Because of his bravery he was duly knighted and the village has been linked with boars ever since.

Scarecrows made for the festival all have pig shaped heads, are dressed to a pig theme and have a name incorporating something to do with the creatures, like boar, trotter, hog and so on.

Last year one of the star attractions was 'Rainboar', a huge pig, measuring in at five feet long, made up of knitted squares.

After the festival the big boar was dismantled and the squares were made up into blankets which were sent overseas by the church, some to Sri Lanka and some to South Africa.

This year it was decided to try and create a world record for the biggest knitted pig.

2009 Ripley knitted pig
The 2009 Ripley knitted boar is a truly international creature!

Knitters are busy all over the village and far beyond. Although there is a strong core group within the church, community and local school, people from places as far flung as New Zealand, America, Scotland and London have made squares and posted in their contributions.

As well as aiming to create a new world record for its size, the 2009 Ripley knitted boar is a truly international creature!




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