Scarecrow vandals are the final straw for ramblers

A BATTLE group has called for increased security for the town’s scarecrow festival after their entry was damaged for the second time in just one week.

Members of Battle Ramblers had spent many hours creating a ballerina scarecrow for this year’s Battle Scarecrow Festival, which kicked off on July 4.

The scarecrow was put in place near the Pilgrims Rest and Battle Abbey on Friday July 1.

But just two days later, before the festival had even begun, the ballerina was discovered laying on the cricket field at George Meadow.

It was soon back in position, but on Sunday the scarecrow was taken, along with the stake it was attached to, and vandalised.

Bev Marks, chairman of Battle Ramblers, said: “Members of Battle Ramblers who put so much effort into creating and making our scarecrow are deeply saddened that, yet again, our efforts have been ruined by vandalism in our lovely town of Battle, which should be much enhanced by the scarecrows display during these weeks.”

The scarecrow was discovered on the cricket field and was taken in to the town council offices at The Almonry.

It was missing its head, the swan head from its costume, and one of the ballerina’s hands had been destroyed.

The scarecrow was so badly damaged, Bev said it would take too much work to repair it.

Bev said: “We have been subjected to very deplorable vandalism that I hope will lead to future events providing improved scarecrow security in co-operation with significantly better police monitoring of the streets at critical times.”

The Battle Ramblers’ scarecrow was not the only one to be targeted by vandals since the start of the festival.

Last week Battle Police’s own scarecrow, which had stood outside the police station in North Trade Road, was stolen.

It was found the following day, dumped in an alleyway near Coronation Gardens.

PC Jayne Cleverley said: “We are aware the community is putting a large amount of work into the scarecrows and a few people are spoiling it.

“Although the police cannot patrol 24 hours a day, we all look to community to keep their eyes open as well.”