Community spirit beats scarecrow vandals

Community spirit has triumphed over vandals' shocking attempts to destroy Yaxham's autumn fair.Villagers were devastated when around 20 scarecrows carefully made for the primary school's harvest-themed autumn fair were decapitated and strewn across one of the county's major roads.

Community spirit has triumphed over vandals' shocking attempts to destroy Yaxham's autumn fair.

Villagers were devastated when around 20 scarecrows carefully made for the primary school's harvest-themed autumn fair were decapitated and strewn across one of the county's major roads.

More than 40 straw creations were put up around Yaxham on Sunday, but that evening around half of the new additions were stolen or decapitated.

The scarecrows were placed along the A47 between Dereham and Hon-ingham, causing horrified motorists to call the police believing they had seen dead bodies.


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One had been hung off a bridge to make it look like someone had committed suicide, with several others laid across country lanes and near the main road.

And the vandals returned on Monday night to create more havoc on a slightly smaller scale. But Yaxham has come back fighting with the community rallying around to prove nothing will destroy their spirit.

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Liz Hollis, from Friends of Yaxham Primary School, said: “Initially there was a lot of anger but soon people were fixing or replacing the scarecrows.

“Now we've got 56 scarecrows, which is wonderful, we're so pleased. Everyone's really working together, parents, teachers and pupils.

“Even villagers who don't have children at the school have been getting involved. That's been great and we want to say a big thanks to them.

“It's brought the whole village together. The other night I was speaking to a lady who lives a few doors down for ages, but before this I never really knew her. We're all making lots of new friends.

“The whole village has rallied around. The negative publicity at the beginning has been replaced by positivity. There's going to be a wonderful turnout.”

Police are treating the incident as nuisance behaviour and anyone who finds a scarecrow is being urged to take it to Dereham police station.

Yaxham Primary School's autumn fair will take place this Saturday from noon until 3pm.

Anyone with information about the vandalism should contact Dereham police station on 0845 4564567.

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