Astronauts and Roman gladiators – just some of the scarecrow creations by Marsden Primary School children

Motorists and residents in Whitburn and Marsden may have noticed some strange new arrivals in the shape of an astronaut, Roman gladiator, farmer and country gent.

Marsden Primary School children with their scarecrow designs.

The creations, which take pride of place on the small hill in the grounds of Marsden Primary School, are part of eight life size scarecrows created by pupils at the school as part of its annual Harvest Festival.

Each year group was given a remit to design a scarecrow of a character of their choice with the children placed into groups to design different body parts which could be pieced together.

Parents have been asked to vote on the best scarecrow design.

Year 4 pupil, Scarlett Noble, 8, said: “We decided to do Maxiumus, a Roman gladiator, as we’ve been learning about the Romans in History. I helped make his hair and hands. I’m really pleased with how he looks and the scarecrows seem to be getting a lot of attention from passers-by.

“I’m hoping we get the most votes and I would really like to do this again next year.”

Year 5 pupil Cory Lusby, 9, added: “My class decided to do a traditional scare crow like the on from The Wizard of Oz. My job was to use the straw to stuff the main body.

Some of the scarecrow characters created by Marsden Primary School children.

“I really enjoyed the project and I’m hopeful that we might win.”

Some of the creations were linked to stories the children had been reading including Harry O’Hay and Betty O’Barley from the Scarecrow’s Wedding.

The Harvest Festival sees the children singing songs at Whitburn Church and donating food to the Hospitality and Hope Food Bank in South Shields. However it’s the first time the school has held the scarecrow competition.

Marsden Primary School children impersonating some of the scarecrows they have made.

Early Years teacher and event coordinator Marie Hanratty said: “After the last two years, we wanted to do something extra which would help create lasting memories for the children and spread some joy in the local community.

“The children have absolutely loved making the scarecrows which are now on display and will hopefully bring a smile to people’s faces. The feedback we’ve had from parents and residents has been absolutely amazing.

“After such a successful first outing, we can’t wait to make it another Marsden tradition.”

Mrs Hanratty also announced that Fred the Astronaut, created by Year 2, won the competition.

Click here to watch the children’s interview