Axminster Chamber of Commerce's scarecrow festival has been embraced by all residents on the town.

Axminster has now been completely overtaken with scarecrows, with the figures appearing in shops, Axminster Guildhall and houses.

More than 50 of them have popped up in support of the first Axminster Scarecrow Trail, which was introduced as a way of boosting the local scene ahead of two major food events on the Minster Green either end of the Spring Bank Holiday weekend. 

From shops in the town centre to gardens in quiet residential streets, comical characters are everywhere in Axminster right now as the town responds with enthusiasm to an open invitation from the Chamber of Commerce to come up with scarecrows to create a fun atmosphere.

No street took the trail to its heart more so that Abbey Close where more than a dozen scarecrows now line the way. In nearby Duke’s Way, Sue Mackay themed her scarecrow with the 80th anniversary of D-Day with a display featuring a fighter pilot and land girl.

Outside the Guildhall sits a scarecrow in full mayoral robes and regalia appearing to have taken over charge of Axminster Town Council from Town Mayor Cllr Jill Farrow. The lookalike has been christened ‘Cllr Till Harrow’ and also wears a shirt donated by the Town Clerk.

Close by is the very life-like figure of Chichi who demonstrates the whole range of skills in play at the Axe Valley Crafts Group. There is even a scarecrow looking out from the Axminster Fire Station’s training tower.

Chamber of Commerce secretary Barrie Hedges said: “We wanted people to feel the warmth that exists in the town, and there is nothing quite like scarecrows for making us all smile. We expected a good response but we certainly did not anticipate quite the number that have in the end appeared.

"The levels of ingenuity and craftsmanship shown have been quite amazing - people have very evidently spent many hours planning and building their scarecrows. The whole town is now alive with them.” 

The scarecrows will stay in place through until Monday 27 May when the popular ‘Axminster Gate to Plate’ food festival returns with an estimated 60 traders, an all-day event made possible by funding from East Devon District Council and Axminster Town Council. 

 Ahead of that on Friday 24 May from 4pm, the ‘Axminster Eats’ street food event sets up its stalls for the first time on the Minster Green, a location it will return to on the fourth Friday of each summer months.

Local traders are being encouraged to take full advantage of the commercial opportunities presented by the substantial footfall from the two events.

It is hoped that visitors who enjoy the character of the town will be encouraged to return in the future.