Beds, Herts & Bucks

Voting under way in Flamstead Scarecrow Festival

Voting has got under way in Flamstead for the Hertfordshire village's 13th annual Scarecrow Festival.

Image copyright Ed Ram
Image caption About 90 scarecrows are currently registered to take part in the competition, but late entries are expected throughout the weekend.
Image copyright Ed Ram
Image caption Voting started at 12:00 BST on Friday with visitors able to nominate their favourite scarecrow until 17:00 BST on Sunday. Paul McMahon, the event's organiser, says he has "no idea" what criteria people use select their favourite.
Image copyright Ed Ram
Image caption Lucy Miller, last year's winner, joked "It's not the the winning that's important", as she adjusted the hair of her 2014 Jack and the Beanstalk entry.
Image copyright Ed Ram
Image caption A voting form costs £2 per person or £5 for a family. The money raised is donated the Herts Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Centre and the upkeep of St Leonard's, Flamstead's parish church.
Image copyright Ed Ram
Image caption Louise Felipe, 22, says she likes the festival because it brings business and new faces to the village. She and Ben Haggart, 16, both work in the local pub, The Spotted Dog. It is the second year that they have entered a scarecrow into the contest.
Image copyright Ed Ram
Image caption The festival features some unconventional scarecrows, as well as more traditional ones. The festival's founder Peter Milson, from Lincolnshire, introduced the idea to the village in 2002 as a fundraiser and it has run every year since.
Image copyright Ed Ram
Image caption Reuben and Mabel's scarecrow is based on the CBeebies television programme Mr Bloom's Nursery. They made the vegetables during their school holidays and the scarecrow on Friday morning. It took them about three hours, with a bit of help from their mum.
Image copyright Ed Ram
Image caption Andrew Lambourne, who works with electronics, took about two months to make his talking Darth Vader scarecrow. He said: "It's a lot of hard work but it's always great on the day." Mr Lambourne's Dalek scarecrow won first prize in the competition in 2010.
Image copyright Ed Ram
Image caption Some of the exhibits also served a practical purpose. However, despite the villages' enthusiasm for scarecrows, very few of the entries will actually be used to deter birds from eating crops.

The winner of the scarecrow competition will be announced on the Flamstead website after the voting has closed.

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