THE standard of entry was ex-straw-dinary – but there could only be one winner.
And after hours of deliberations, the winning scarecrow in this year’s competition in Elwick village was chosen.
Dozens of scarecrows have appeared around the village in recent weeks ahead of judging on Saturday.
And after one of the judges, Janice McColm, of Tees Valley Rural Community Council, had seen every single scarecrow she decided the best of the bunch was the Queen of Hearts, designed by the Olive family.
The fantastic entry just pipped Jubilee Morning to first place, while the imaginative scarecrow of the Queen sat outside in a black dress was chosen in third place.
While there was delight for those three, Elwick residents lost their overall scarecrow crown to Castle Eden.
Castle Eden residents took part in the competition for the very first time last year, but Elwick was crowned champion village.
However this year the order in the light-hearted contest was reversed.
But that didn’t dampen spirits in Elwick as residents celebrated the jubilee together on Saturday afternoon.
Maxine Coss, chairwoman of Elwick Millennium Association, which organises the annual competition, said: “I would like to say thanks to everyone who took part in this year’s competition.
“The standard of entry was absolutely fantastic, as ever people were so creative.”
The winning scarecrow in Castle Eden was King Harold, which was brilliantly designed by nine-year-old Ben Morton.
Janice told the Mail: “Everyone had worked so hard and used their imagination on their scarecrows.
“I really enjoyed judging the entries.
“What a way to spend an afternoon, everyone in both villages made me feel so welcome.
“It’s a wonderful competition.”
l See Peterlee Star on Wednesday for more Castle Eden scarecrows.