THE first ever Strensall Scarecrow Festival will be held this weekend.

The event has been organised by the Military Wives Choir in York to raise money for three local charities, and organisers hope it will be the first of many annual events.

Allison West, from the choir, said: "The festival came about after a few of our members visited scarecrow festivals in other villages, and we wondered why Strensall didn't have one so decided to follow suit and create our very own scarecrow festival. The whole village have been getting involved. We now have over 80 scarecrows.

"We hope this festival will bring the community together for an enjoyable event, as well as attracting more visitors to Strensall Village. We also want to make sure this is a success so we can help three amazing causes within our local community."

Local businesses have also helped support the festival, including Lambs Hill Farm who provided the hay for the scarecrows, and The Ship Inn who have entered their own scarecrow and are taking part in the judging on one of the three routes through the village.

Some of the funds raised at the festival will go towards the choir, which brings together women with a military connection, to help support each other and make new friends through singing.

The other two charities to benefit will be Hurst Hall Community Centre, and Strensall Library.

Allison said: "Hurst Hall has become the heart of the community for many families in Strensall and they rely on donations and fundraising to be able to continue their fantastic work.

"Strensall library is also at the heart of our village, many people rely on this service, including the elderly, families, adults and children. Unfortunately the library is at risk of closure due to lack of funds. We would love to be able to help the library continue their fantastic work. All we ask is that people come along for a fantastic day out and get to see more of our beautiful village."

The festival runs throughout the village on Saturday and Sunday between 10am and 4pm.