Village scarecrows take centre stage

SCARECROWS disguised as everything from tree surgeons to burglars will be appearing in a Suffolk village this weekend.The weird and wonderful Scarecrow Competition at Cotton, near Stowmarket, is rapidly becoming a summer tradition in the village, which is home to just under 400 residents.

SCARECROWS disguised as everything from tree surgeons to burglars will be appearing in a Suffolk village this weekend.

The weird and wonderful Scarecrow Competition at Cotton, near Stowmarket, is rapidly becoming a summer tradition in the village, which is home to just under 400 residents.

Visitors will spot the straw men surfing in fields, breaking into a home clutching a crowbar, or taking part in a Mad Hatter's tea party.

Some started appearing yesterday and more will follow today until 25 are there in total.

John Doherty, competition organiser who created the burglar, said: “This is better than having a fete, residents are really getting involved, and we hope people will come from miles around to have a look at them.

“The scarecrows are very comical and have got everyone talking about them. There will be a modest prize for the winner, a bottle of wine, and the kudos of having won.”

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Andrew Stringer, who lives in Cotton and who represents the community as its Green mid Suffolk district councillor, has made his into a surfer and placed it in a local field.

He said: “This has brought the whole community together and is a chance to have a really good laugh and show that we have a huge amount of talent often locked away in our villages.

“I thought it would take me a few hours to make mine but it has taken tens of hours, but has been huge fun.”

The scarecrows will all be on show from 10am to 5pm Sunday and Monday, and the art show in the parish church of St Andrew's will be open the same times.

Maps of local village walks will be on sale at the church, and village hall where a tearoom will also be open and the weekend will help raise money for the parish church, the village hall and community activities.

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