VILLAGERS have been praised for rallying round to support an annual scarecrow festival.

A huge range of creations was on display around Long Lee and Thwaites Brow.

This year’s theme, Lockdown Heroes, acknowledged those who had provided inspiration and helped to keep the country going during recent months.

Residents were invited to walk around the village – socially distancing – to view the scarecrows and then vote for their favourites.

Charlotte Pullen – chairman of the village hall committee, which organises the event – said: “Considering the circumstances this year, the walk around the village was very busy, with everyone social distancing and creating queues outside each house that had a scarecrow.

“The village really came together in such a difficult time. It was great to enjoy something light-hearted and see everyone’s hard work.”

Village hall treasurer Craig Pullen paid tribute to the standard of entries and residents’ generosity.

He said: “We had created an online map and voting system, with the opportunity for people who were not online to pick-up a map outside the hall.

“Our current total on Just Giving is £184 – the target was £100. The generosity of the community has really shone through.

“Well done to everyone who took part. All the entries were amazing and the support we had on the day was outstanding. The community really pulled together and it’s been great to see. We are already thinking about what we can do next year!”

The winning scarecrows were a postman and woman, created by the Goodchild and Hopkinson family, of Spring Drive. Second was a doctor scarecrow named ‘Kevin the key worker’, made by staff at Modality’s Kilmeny Group Medical Practice. A group of key-worker scarecrows - All in it Together – created by Lisa Robinson, of Moss Carr Road, was third.

Other entries ranged from Captain Sir Tom Moore to a memorial tribute for a resident who died during lockdown.

Donations to the village hall can be made at