Fun festival’s scarecrows go on show

Sharon Leadbetter with scarecrow 'Simon'
Sharon Leadbetter with scarecrow 'Simon'
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Hundreds of people are expected to visit a Fylde village this week to enjoy the return of a popular festival.

Dozens of entrants are hoping to stuff their rivals at this year’s Staining Scarecrow Festival.

This simple idea by Sharon has generated a lot of interest

Competitors are hoping residents don’t judge their creation is the final straw, with this year’s winner being decided by public vote.

More than 30 scarecrows will be on display in the village and nearby Newton.

Staining Coun John Singleton told The Gazette: “All scarecrows have been registered and on display since Saturday, with the festival continuing until this Saturday.

“Voting forms and a map will be available for residents to choose a winner.

“The festival was the idea of Sharon Leadbetter, a mother of four from Staining.

“This simple idea by Sharon has created a lot of interest in the village with some residents keeping their scarecrow a secret until the display time.”

A scarecrow is used as a decoy in the shape of a human.

It is usually dressed in old clothes, stuffed with straw and placed in open fields to discourage birds such as crows or sparrows from disturbing and feeding on recently cast seed and growing crops.

But in recent years towns and villages throughout the UK have used the mannequins as a form of entertainment and fun.

Organisers hope this year’s event will pass off without incident after dozens of scarecrows were vandalised in Fleetwood.

April’s event saw several of the scarecrows decapitated, with one made by schoolchildren stolen from its place and dumped in an alleyway.

Public vote to help decide winner

Festival creator Sharon Leadbetter, of Staining Villagers, said: “This year the winner will be decided by the public vote.

“Voting forms will be available from The Plough Pub, The Co-op Store and available to download from the Staining Villagers Facebook group.

“Voting forms and maps will be available until Saturday while there will be a display board in The Plough with all the scarecrow entrants photos on.”