Scarecrow festivals are popular in the UK, where the use of the scarecrow as a protector of crops dates back hundreds of years. In medieval Britain, scarecrows were young boys who were tasked with the responsibility of scarring away birds, patrolling the fields with bags of stones to throw at the crows and starlings. The Great Plague of 1348, however, wiped out half the population and not enough boys could be found, so sacks were stuffed with straw and faces carved in turnips – and so was born the scarecrow as we know it today.
Every year, hundreds of villages all over Britain bring coolur, vibrancy and fun to the countryside by organising Scarecrow Festivals, where residents compete with each other to build the best scarecrow from whatever material they can lay their hands upon! Bardon Mill and Henshaw runs a scarecrow trail each year – a “scarecrow map” can be purchased from Mike’s Village shop in Bardon Mill, along with a voting form – a fun way to explore the Village and get to know the residents! For those wishing to participate, voting forms must be returned to the Village shop by 8th September, with the winners to be announced at the Presentation Night and BBQ at the Bardon Mill village hall on 15th September.
We have voted for our favourites – some of the best from past and present shown!