THE winners of a village’s unique and annual festival involving eerie straw men and women have been announced.

In 2018, the Holland-on-Sea Residents’ Association launched its very first Scarecrow Festival, alongside St Bartholomew’s Church.

The week long event sees everyone from shopkeepers to homeowners take part by creating their very own scarecrows and displaying them across Holland-on-Sea.

As a result of the marvellous creations being dotted around the village, a trail is subsequently created, which locals and visitors are encouraged to follow.

Residents are then asked to vote for their favourites, and the scarecrow which receives the most votes in its category wins.

The competition is usually held around the same time as the Clacton Airshow, which was this year cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Like the historic aerial display, the likelihood of this summer’s Scarecrow Festival taking place was also thrown into doubt.

But, despite a later-than-usual start, the interesting contest has been allowed to go ahead, and the winners have now finally been revealed.

In the ‘Shops and Businesses’ category, funeral directors, R Gwinnell & Sons, based in Holland Road, took home the best scarecrow accolade.

But in the ‘Residential’ category, it was Sue and Steve Howell’s violin-playing fox straw creation which impressed trail participants the most.

Gilly Wilson, who presented the winners with their awards, said: "What an amazing response we had for the Scarecrow Trail 2020.

"Even with a short notice everyone was excited to make their scarecrows.

"Over 200 people and families took part in the trail, many saying how much they enjoyed this community event."

The Scarecrow Trail Raised £434 which will be shared equally between Holland Residents' Association and St Bartholomew's Church.