A SCARECROW trail has kept village residents smiling despite the coronavirus pandemic.

Bethany Morris, a support worker in Darlington, decided that a scarecrow trail would be a good way to unite the community in Gainford, County Durham, during Covid-19.

The 31-year-old said: "I had a crazy idea about a scarecrow trail, as I had seen many villages do this and thought why not our beautiful village.

Darlington and Stockton Times:

An NHS hero design for the scarecrow trail in Gainford, County Durham

"In these uncertain times what better way to keep myself, my sons and people of the village busy than a scarecrow trail.

"I contacted Fiona Divers, who has a lot to do with the community of Gainford, and she said it was an amazing idea.

"So we got Lisa Johnstone involved, who is part of the Gainford parish council, and she sourced the prize money."

The trail was hero themed, with some choosing the NHS key workers as their heroes, and prizes were £50 for first place, £30 for second and £20 for third.

Darlington and Stockton Times:

A key worker design for the scarecrow trail in Gainford, County Durham

She added: "Fiona set up the Facebook page ‘Gainford scarecrow trail 2020’, and we had lots of requests to join, the number of entrants was fantastic - we had 34 in total.

"On the Facebook page we had people coming from other places to use their daily exercise to view the scarecrows, and we had an amazing response.

"Within the village scarecrows we had nurses, doctors, superheroes, a cyclist, bing bunny, police, midwives, postman, farmer, oil worker, army soldier, and two sir captain Tom's to name a few. They were all amazing.

Darlington and Stockton Times:

A Sir Captain Tom design for the scarecrow trail in Gainford, County Durham

"Everybody commented on how good it was and thanked myself and Fiona for organising it, and even asked if could be an annual thing - which of course it can be!

"It lifted everybody’s spirits and made the community come together.

"Rev'd Eileen Harrop, the vicar of Gainford church, approached me for the church to become involved.

Darlington and Stockton Times:

A policeman design for the scarecrow trail in Gainford, County Durham

"The response was overwhelming, and me and my sons Archie, eight, and Freddie, four, really enjoyed doing this, and did not want to take Tom down at all - he was their new best mate.

"Now must get my thinking cap on for a theme for next year!"

To see images of this year's scarecrow trail, or to see what is in store for next year, follow Gainford Scarecrow Trail 2020 on Facebook.