FANTASTIC family fun was had by all this weekend as the annual Scarecrow Festival returned to Blackrod.

Bathed in sunshine, young and old from across the village and beyond wandered the streets to enjoy the residents’ wonderful creations for the event’s 12th year.

Around 130 scarecrows were on display at the festival, from beloved children’s characters to superheroes and impressions of Bolton’s past, each one lovingly handmade and bringing a smile to every face. For those who did not quite feel up to a ramble or just fancied a whistle stop tour to see the scarecrows, a free minibus was on hand giving, short tours of the event from St Katharine’s Church every hour.

Among those enjoying the festival was Sophie Ward from Blackrod, along with here extended family including her husband, and daughters and step daughters Thia, aged two, Luna, aged three, Evie, aged five and Amelia, aged eight.

Mrs Ward said: “We come to the scarecrow festival every year and it’s getting better and better every year. The kids enjoy it and they loved the Teletubbies.”

Also around the village, plenty of fun and games were to be had at Blackrod Primary School and Blackrod Church School which open for the weekend, as was the Owls Nursery, where there were activities to keep youngsters entertained

Walkers could also stop to enjoy cooling refreshments and table top stalls at St Katherines Church and the Methodist Church.

And Blackrod Library held activities, as well as hosting the annual art exhibition.

One villager who had gone all out on scarecrow crafting was Claire Massingham, whose creation Bobbin Hall recalled the region’s cotton and wool heritage.

She said: “The festival is a lovely event for the village and the community all pull together to make it a special day.”

Rachel Walsh, owner of Velvet House of Hair, whose shop front was adorned with a Peter Rabbit scarecrow, said: “We have done the festival for the last five years now and we always like to do a children’s theme.

“It’s all about taking part in the village community spirit and it brings people in. “It’s just a really nice day for the village and everyone takes part.”