Gloucestershire Old Spot

The Gloucestershire Old Spot (GOS) is a white, lop eared pig with one or more black spots. It originates from, well, Gloucestershire and is known as the “orchard pig” as it was kept in orchards to graze the grass and to eat windfall apples. Folklore has it that the spots are bruises caused by falling apples.

Glocuester Old Spot Pigs Glocuester Old Spot Pigs. Photo: Just Chaos

The GOS has the distinction of being the first breed of pig to have its pork protected in a similar way to Parma Ham and Champagne. In 2010, the GOS Pig Breeders’ Club was awarded Traditional Speciality Guaranteed status (TSG) for pork from pedigree GOS pigs. It was the first TSG to be awarded to a breed of livestock anywhere and only the second to be awarded in the UK.

GOS WeanerGOS weaner. Photo: Simon Sutch

The breed is well suited to outdoor production systems, being hardy and a good mother, as well as being quiet and easily handled. It is a large, meaty animal, producing top quality pork, roasting joints and sausages.

Rosemary Champion

About Rosemary Champion

Rosemary lives on a 12 acre smallholding in Angus, in the east of Scotland, where she keeps Ryeland Sheep, Shetland cattle and assorted poultry. She was destined to be a smallholder from an early age.

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