OBSERVANT children and curious adults may have spotted Little Red Riding Hood and even in bingo lingo Gardener's Gate at the weekend as both Hilmarton and Monkton Park held Scarecrow Trails in support of local causes.

In Chippenham at Monkton Park the organiser Laura Chitson said: "It looks like a record year for attendance with over 370 sheets sold.

"There were 44 scarecrows dotted across the estate with everything from the Loch Ness Monster to the Little Red Riding Hood and the Pied Piper.

"The sun shone all weekend people from across Monkton Park and surrounding neighbourhoods and villages attending.

"The money raised will be used towards the amphitheatre."

The theme was Fairytales and Myths with the event organised by the Friends of Monkton Park Primary School.

The trail sheets were £3 and there was also a barbecue and refreshments served at the school.

Also over last week the Hilmarton Scarecrow Festival was held with this time a bingo theme with the numbers representing images used in the game of chance. Hence Two little ducks = 22.

Natalie Doust, the official scarecrow co-ordinator said: "It was a nice family orientated trail, great for all ages.

"We had the scarecrow trail with a total of 46 scarecrows along with refreshments, a barbecue, a beer tent, a raffle, face painting, a bouncy castle and lots more.

"The sun shone and people flocked in.

"Every year the proceeds go back into the village - the village church – St Laurence church, Hilmarton Primary school, Pre-school and we also make a donations to groups within the village.

"We also choose one outside charity – this year we chose Wiltshire Mind.

"We are still in the process of counting the money and deducting costs but we know we have raised over £6,000."

In Hilmarton there was a public vote for their best scarecrow: the winners were - ‘Gardeners Gate’ Bingo Lingo number eight, created by the Gardening Club of Hilmarton Primary School – which came third.

"Clean the floor’ Bingo Lingo number 54, created by The Tarlings – won first prize.

"And Harry Paterson Max Paterson with ‘Winnie the Pooh’ Bingo Lingo 42 also was acclaimed for its originality."

Once it was jumble sales and raffles that raised cash for primary schools but in recent years scarecrow trails have become fashionable for several reasons.

They involve the community as the trail takes those following it around the area making it a family walk.

Extra cash comes from barbecues and refreshments and of course it is a very creative process with some wonderful scarecrows designed on a theme.