SCARECROWS seem to hold the secret for a flourishing community as hundreds of visitors are flocking to Sandleheath for a peek at the men of straw.

Community spirit has taken off in the village since the first scarecrow competition was held in 2011.

Every year since new and even more creative scarecrows come out for a week before the community get together on the green for a summer fete, which was re-established in 2011 after 11 years.

This year Betty Boo, the entire cast from the Wizard of Oz and the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party are among the 18 straw celebs.

Sandleheath Community Association, which was launched by Kathryn Coyle to put the heart back into the village, organises the event, which includes scarecrows, a dog show and village fete.

The fete is being held this Saturday at Sandleheath Top Common. It will be opened by Murray Walker at 2pm, and the dog show will start at 3pm.

This year’s categories are best six legs, best child dog handler, musical mats and best behaved dog. There will be a cake competition too - bring your entries to the stall by 3pm for judging. Categories are best fruit cake, best decorated cake, under 16’s cake and under 11’s cup cake.