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Scarecrow trail

Denene Kerr, PTA Chair, Irthington Village School, Cumbria (70 pupils) told us:

'For the last few years we have held a scarecrow trail in Irthington village. Last year the theme was 'characters' and around 25 families registered to build a scarecrow, paying £5 each. We advertised the event via school and PTA newsletters and in the parish magazine a few months in advance. The scarecrows were placed in front gardens a few days before the trail, which allowed time for a photoshoot by the local paper for some free publicity (and even a television report!).

The main event took place over a weekend for a few hours each day. We invited pupils, parents and others to come to the school to buy a trail sheet for £1. This included a map of the route, which was partly on foot and partly in a vehicle. There was a cryptic clue about each scarecrow and space for people to write the correct answer, or a good guess! We asked everyone to choose their favourite scarecrow on the sheets, too.

There were some incredibly inventive entries, including Spiderman climbing up a telegraph pole, a parachutist caught in a tree, The Stig from Top Gear, and a character from Sesame Street. The overall winner was The Gruffalo, which was made by attaching a barrel, posts, and a pallet together. It was then wrapped in chicken wire, finished off with bundles of rushes tied on with twine. The teeth and claws were pieces of wood; the knobbly knees were bits of bark and the prickles, eyes and wart were made from papier-mâché. A toy mouse completed the ensemble!

When trail sheets were returned to school for the answers to be counted,
we sold cream teas and ice creams to generate additional income, with many items donated by parents. There was also a book stall and a small raffle. Our costs were low, with small monetary prizes offered for the most correct answers and for the creators of the best-loved scarecrow. It's an event that really grabbed the attention of the whole school community and beyond. Our profit last year was £481.'


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