Harry Potter, Wallace and Gromit, and Joseph and his Technicolour Dream Coat all came together as the community went to town for the Romanby WI scarecrow festival.

The award-winning community event, near Northallerton, is in its fifth year and saw 43 scarecrows standing tall across the village.

The displays were visited by members of the public voting for their favourite. Nearly 900 people visited Romanby WI Hall, to buy a trail map and enjoy tea, cake, and craft stalls, and £2,500 was raised for charity. Since it started the festival has raised more than £10,000.

Darlington and Stockton Times: First place The Dementor

President of Romanby WI, Samantha Jennings said: "We are always so impressed by the creativity and generosity of the community when it comes to the Scarecrow Festival. People spend weeks on paper mâché heads, wire bodies, and painted scenery.

“They are more like works of art than scarecrows. We imagined the main incentive was the £100 prize money, and I think that does help but honestly, I believe most people really love the event and the sense of community spirit and pride that comes with it.

Darlington and Stockton Times: Feed the Birds was popular at Romanby WI Scarecrow Festival

“During the festival hundreds of residents and visitors are out walking, talking and exploring. I can’t thank everyone enough for taking part. I especially loved a scarecrow called Feeding the Birds, from Mary Poppins. There was a table on the drive with materials and instructions to make a colourful bird to hang in the tree. By Sunday evening this tree was full of beautiful birds, such a joyous sight."

First place went to Neil Coulson, who created a movie prop worthy version of a Dementor from Harry Potter. Mr Coulson is a volunteer with local charity Northdale, helping with their Scare Zone Halloween event where his creation is now on display. Neil plans to donate his prize money to Northdale.

In second place a larger-than-life recreation of Wallace and Gromit attracted more than £80 in donations. Its makers, Diane and Brian Jennings, will also donate their £75 prize money to the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

Darlington and Stockton Times: Wallace and Gromit took 2nd place at the Scarecrow Festival

In third place, £50 was won by Rachael Mary Beard for her stunning scene of Joseph and his technicolour dream coat which brought great joy to all, as well as raising more than £100 for Yorkshire Air Ambulance. Because of the work involved the event runs every other year, with October half term 2025 the next one.

Darlington and Stockton Times: Organiser Samantha Jennings with assistants at the Scarecrow Festival

Ms Jennings added: "This year’s event was kindly supported by a £300 community grant from Broadacres. Money raised goes to the maintenance of Romanby WI Hall.

"Romanby WI has 80 members, from their 30s to 90s and a waiting list. Running for 95 year it is at the heart of the community and helping to support a newly formed WI in Northallerton."