Build a scarecrow for the birthday

Titania and Oberon in recycled form are ready for Stratford’s first Community Scarecrow Festival next month. Picture submitted.

STRATFORD’S first Community Scarecrow Festival is being held this year during Shakespeare’s Birthday Celebration Weekend on 27th and 28th April on Bancroft Gardens.

We’ve had a living statues competition and now groups are invited to take part in a competition to make the most inventive scarecrow – or scarecrows – for display throughout the weekend.

Escape Arts are joining forces with Stratford Town Trust to deliver the new community activity, which has become increasingly popular around the country in recent years.

Community groups, schools, businesses and families are being invited to make scarecrows to form a display on the Bancroft Gardens over the Birthday weekend.

As it is Shakespeare’s birthday, the theme for the scarecrows is books and plays, so it’s time to celebrate all favourite book characters or Shakespearian idols.

There are no rules regarding how many characters a group produces, it all just depends on personal choice and imagination – will it be Sherlock Holmes? The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe? Or maybe the whole magical cast of A Mid-summer Night’s Dream? But it could be Worzel Gummidge and Aunt Sally.

Ideally, characters will be made out of recycled materials, with more points awarded for the most inventive uses. Entry is free and you can get an information pack and application form at www. escapearts.

Community groups with a qualifying Stratford postcode can apply for a £100 grant from Stratford Town Trust to help with their scarecrow builds. Further details can be found at:

The closing date for applications for this grant is Monday, 1st April. Judging will take place on Sunday, 28th April at 4pm, with a chance to win a cash prize of £100.

Across the whole weekend Escape is delivering a host of free creative workshops on the Bancroft Gardens, including community scarecrow builds with willow artist Spencer Jenkins and recycled sculpture artists, Ros Ingram and Ali Allen. There will also be mini scarecrow making, Kate’s StoryTree will be there with storytelling and jigs and reels music performed by local musicians.