What a typically English event the Bovey Tracy Scarecrow Spectacular is! So wonderfully simple but in this day and age when everything seems to be so high tech, it makes a wonderfully refreshing change as well as showcasing a skill which like so many English countryside events seems to be something of a dying breed.
This fun scarecrow-themed event takes place in Bovey Tracey at the National Trust property of Parke. Bovey Tracey is situated in South Devon not far from Torbay and is a real market town. It is often referred to as the gateway to Dartmoor and just a five minute drive from the town offers wonderful walks and scenic Devon countryside.
The Scarecrow Spectacular is based on countryside traditions
Bovey Tracey is a town which is steeped in farming traditions and even though it gets busy during the weekends and summer months with holiday makers and walkers, the thriving local community is very much in evidence throughout the year. The Scarecrow Spectacular is a lovely example of what this small town is all about.
This particular event is organised by the excellent National Trust and is split into two sessions, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. At only £3.50 per session it really does represent excellent value for money and it is not just children who will be absolutely engrossed by what they will learn here.
Parke's Walled Garden hosts the Scarecrow Spectacular
The Scarecrow Spectacular takes place in Parke's walled garden and everyone gets the chance to make a scarecrow in whatever fashion they choose. Even though materials are supplied, everyone who is attending is encouraged to bring in any of their own materials which they think may be useful.
Once the scarecrows are finished they are placed around the walled garden to serve a useful purpose of scaring away the birds as the season's seeds are sown.
The National Trust puts on many similar events at Parke and elsewhere that keep the old Devonshire customs alive. The instructors who share their knowledge are extremely helpful and are always happy to answer questions and share their knowledge.
As the Scarecrow Spectacular session only takes a couple of hours it would be a shame not to take advantage of the surroundings. If you enjoy walking there are lots of options for you around Bovey Tracey. The town itself, even though it is very small, is well worth a stroll around if you haven't visited before.
Inns and pubs in Bovey Tracey
For anyone who fancies a bite to eat there are several pubs and cafés along Fore Street offering meals and refreshments. One establishment in the town attracts visitors in-the-know from all over South Devon. The place in question is the Riverside Inn and the reason that it is so popular is because of the all-day carvery that it offers.
The quality is superb and for the price charged (currently under a fiver) it is great value for money. After an active couple of hours putting a scarecrow together, why not relax with a lovely roast dinner whilst looking out over the River Bovey. There can't be many days out where you can learn a skill that will last you a life time and still have time for an invigorating walk and a wonderful meal afterwards.
Have you attended a short course which showcases the countryside skills that most people take for granted? We'd love to hear about other country crafts courses run by the National Trust. Can you recommend any?