The 2016 Urchfont
will be held on:
Saturday 30th April
Sunday 1st May
and Monday 2nd May
(May Day Bank Holiday weekend)
The Urchfont Scarecrow Festival, which takes place annually over the three days of the May Day bank holiday weekend, is based on an idea originally suggested by a villager who had seen something similar in Derbyshire. It started in 1997 as a small scale event to raise money for the refurbishment of the village hall. Its success surpassed all expectations and it has continued to grow, becoming a major local event and attracting thousands of visitors each year. Now much imitated, the Urchfont Scarecrow Festival was certainly the very first in Wiltshire and perhaps even one of the first in southern England. Each year 45–50 scarecrows are made by families, groups and individuals in the village. Recent themes have included: Films & Shows, Trivial Pursuits, Pairs, and TV Advertisements. Each year the Scarecrow Committee tries to make the theme unusual, imaginative and original.
The ‘Scarecrow Trail’ commences at the village pond or the Green, where programmes can be purchased indicating the position of the scarecrow displays throughout the village. As well as a pleasant wander through our lovely village, the task of identifying and matching the scarecrows to the cryptic clues in the programme is an enjoyable but challenging experience. Some visitors are happy to spend just an hour or two on the trail, others spend one, two or even three days here! In addition to the main scarecrow trail there is also a separate Children’s Quiz which allows children of all ages, including the very young and those who are not yet confident readers, to have fun while their parents decipher the main clues.
Free car parking on local fields is provided and a variety of refreshments including tea, cakes, burgers, hot dogs, soft drinks, beers and ice creams are available around our picturesque pond. The Plant Sale adjacent to the pond is a very popular attraction and well worth a visit. For those who prefer to bring their own picnic, the school playing field provides a pleasant and peaceful spot to relax. Pub lunches are available from The Lamb Inn, and the Community Shop also sells ices and snacks.
The profit from the event is used for the benefit of the local community and has included major donations to The Village Hall Extension Fund, The Community Shop, The Playground Appeal, and The Church Roof Repair Fund, together with numerous smaller donations to local community groups and organisations. In 2015 donations totalling well over £20,000 were made to nearly 30 different local good causes. For several years the Scarecrow Festival has also made substantial donations to the Wiltshire Air Ambulance. In 2015 this donation once again amounted to £2000, making a total of £15,000 since 2006.
Urchfont Scarecrow Festival Charity 2010 became a CIO (Charitable Incorporated Organisation) in 2014
(Registered Charity Number: 1156450)