Tetford Scarecrow Festival, Lincolnshire

Scarecrow having tea

As a petulant teenager, Tetford was a place of exile. We moved there in the early 1980s and I had never lived anywhere quite so remote. It wasn't 'on the way' to anywhere, there was barely any traffic, there was one bus a day to a nearby market town, and one shop. I got out as soon as I could.

Occasional family visits in the following years taught me a little tolerance and even appreciation. Its setting in a picturesque valley in the rolling Lincolnshire Wolds, the peace so resounding that a sheep's bray sounded deafening and the miles of country paths to be negotiated behind a straining and excitable dog.

But my last visit was a revelation. Sometime in the last three or four years - I could be wrong here - the Tetford community established a yearly scarecrow festival and secured the participation of nearly every household within its boundaries. Held on the first weekend of May (Saturday, Sunday and the Bank Holiday Monday), the festival sees home made scarecrows installed in gardens, driveways, on fences and pavements and even wooded glades. Since the village is formed by a loop of road this makes a pleasingly gentle circuit of roughly one mile.

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