An annual village scarecrow festival which goes from strength to strength will return next month in time for Halloween.

Originally launched more than 15 years ago the two-day Helmshore event, organised by Sue Clarke, is now in its fourth year following its revival, and last year attracted around 100 entries, of which 90 were on the official route.

As well as plenty of fun for those people making and admiring all the colourful entries, the festival is a fundraiser - and last year £2,300 was donated to East Lancashire Down’s Syndrome Group from registration fees, maps and a raffle.

Sue says they always like to choose a charity that’s got a real connection to the village’s children and families, and this year is no different with the choice of Milly’s Smiles, an East Lancashire charity which provides a ‘Milly Bag’ of essentials to every family whose child has been admitted to Manchester, Alder Hey and Leeds Children’s Hospitals with a new cancer diagnosis.

She added: “People are now travelling from outside the village to see the scarecrows. Newchurch Primary School from Rawtenstall also got involved, with their donated scarecrows going on the onto the main green. The local schools always make a big effort too, of course!”

Neary’s, on Helmshore Road, sells the scarecrow registration forms and maps.

Helmshore Scarecrow Festival will return on October 30-31.

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