CREATIVE children were top of the crops after designing scarecrows and reaping money for their school.

The Covid-friendly scarecrow trail was organised by the Parent Staff Association (PSA) at Colchester's Hamilton Primary School and raised £600.

The idea for a socially-distanced event was planted because of ongoing restrictions caused by the pandemic.

Normally the PSA holds a popular summer fayre, school discos, quizzes and a Bake Off-style competition.

However, this year's fundraiser had to follow strict guidelines and a cashless payment and online registration system was set up.

Families downloaded a map and were able to follow the trail, visit as many scarecrows as possible and post selfies of themselves on the PSA Facebook page.

Emily Gooch, one of the organisers, said: "We needed to brainstorm an alternative event this year, not only to continue raising money but also to raise community morale and bring everyone together in a safe way.

"Thankfully, it was a huge success.

"Sixty-three families entered the competition and displayed scarecrows outside their homes for all to see.

"Many passers-by stopped to marvel at the creations and the atmosphere in the surrounding area was just what the community needed.

"Everyone from families with young children to the elderly were all out in the fresh air, scarecrow-hunting.

"The creations were fabulous, too, with families thinking outside the box."

The scarecrow that gleaned the most votes depicted the minions Kevin and Stuart and was created by Emma and Alex Suckling, of Hamilton Road.

In second place was Margo Runicles with her Mr and Mrs Day of the Dead scarecrows and third spot went to Isabella and Sophia Nagi, with their Charlie and the Wolf creation.

Some £600 was raised during the weekend through the competition entrance fee and map sales combined.

This money will be put towards a sound and video system for the school so plays and special assemblies can be filmed and distributed to parents, who are currently unable to be on the school premises.

The PSA also received a number of one-off donations from other members of the community, using the donations facility on their website.

To make a donation, visit

The Parent Staff Association has been known to raise £30,000 in an academic year, which, in turn, has benefitted the 400-plus children at Hamilton.