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New minister promises fair deal for rural communities
WHEN Norfolk farmer William Youngs lost 30 acres of oil seed rape, worth thousands of pounds, because it was being eaten by partridges, he tried everything – conventional scarecrows, mechanical deterrents, electronic deterrents. Nothing worked.
Then he came up with a very unconventional idea and that is how 22-year-old music and English graduate Jamie Fox landed a highly unusual job – as a human scarecrow while the OSR ripened.
Mr Young said: “Partridges love OSR – it’s like fillet steak to them.
They eat the leaves, after which the plants die.”
Jamie earned around £250 a week scaring the birds off the tenacre field. Armed with a deckchair and a bright orange coat, he said: “I enjoyed the job. It was great – I got to sit and read but, whenever the partridges appear, I had to get up and scare them off. I rang a cowbell and I’ve even played the accordion, but my ukulele didn’t seem to have any effect. It gave me time to decide what to do with my future.”
Mr Youngs said: “Jamie did a good job.”
And did Jamie come up with a plan for the future? Yes – he’s going to do something which has come to be seen as much more conventional – go backpacking to New Zealand, after which he wants to find a career in music.