Teenager organises first scarecrow trail in Hilcott

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Matthew Wilson gets ready to unveil the first Hilcott scarecrow trail Matthew Wilson gets ready to unveil the first Hilcott scarecrow trail

Teenager Matthew Wilson was so impressed by Urchfont’s scarecrow trail that he has organised one for his own village.

The 15-year-old, who lives in Hilcott, near Pewsey, went to the event in 2004 and has wanted to organise something ever since but was waiting for a worthy cause to support.

Matthew, a pupil at Lavington School near Devizes, has been singlehandedly organising this weekend’s event since the beginning of the year.

He said: “I’ve been wanting to do one for many years and never got round to it, but now our local church needs a fair bit of work so we’re going to raise money for the church. It’s been quite difficult to organise and find people to make the scarecrows.”

The theme of the event is children’s books and there will be more than 30 scarecrows on the circular route, which starts at Hilcott Village Hall.

Matthew said: “A lot of people have been very supportive and everyone is looking forward to it around the village. There’s also going to be hot food served at the Seven Stars, an ice cream van going round and an aunt Sally who’s going to serve tea and cakes in the village hall.”

Residents in the village of Hilcott and nearby Bottlesford have all lent a helping hand to make sure the weekend is a success.

Matthew’s mother Karen Wilson said: “He’s had to do all the health and safety and risk assessments himself, he’s had to badger people to make scarecrows, badger people to make cakes and sort out the car parking. I don’t think he realised how much work was involved at the start.

“I’m slightly worried because I want it to be a success for him but I’m very proud, everyone in the community is. The hardest thing is not knowing how many are coming, we’re hoping for lots.”

If the scarecrow trail is a success, Matthew is hoping to make it an annual event.

The trail starts at the Hilcott village hall and is open from 11am-4pm on August 17 and 18.

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