VOLUNTEERS want to make Bognor Regis the scarecrow capital of the south coast.
They have launched the town’s first competition to find the scariest or best-dressed scarecrow.
Entrants can be individuals, families, businesses, schools and groups around the town.
The contest is being included in the annual Bognor Regis in Bloom initiative which aims to get the town looking pretty.
Margaret Huntingdon, a Bognor Regis in Bloom working party member, said: “Until last year, we had been running a wheelbarrow competition.
“We used to get 12-15 inquiries, but only four or five entries because the curriculum meant the schools didn’t have time to take part.
“We thought everyone could enter a scarecrow competition. There is only one condition. Every scarecrow has to have something growing on him or her, like grass as hair or cress growing out of a pocket.”
Entry forms are available from Bognor Regis in Bloom, c/o Bognor Regis Town Council, Town Hall, Clarence Road, Bognor Regis PO21 1LD. They have to be returned by June 23. The scarecrows will be judged in Hotham Park on July 5.
A scarecrow to promote the competition was present at the launch of Bognor Regis in Bloom 2014 last week.
The event outside Morrisons on Bedford Street saw passers-by enter a free tombola, enjoy free sweets and pick up gardening tips.
Margaret said: “We hope the scarecrows will help to improve Bognor’s rating in the South and South East in Bloom competition from silver gilt to gold.
“We were the top entrant in our category of coastal town last year and only 16 points away from gold.”
As well as scarecrows, the working party hopes to attract new In Bloom entries by going to keen gardeners.
“Members of the working group will be going round in the summer looking at people’s front gardens,” she said. “They will be putting invitations to enter through the front doors of those they think look really good.
“We have some really nice roundabouts thanks to the work Town Force put into them, but want lots and lots of front gardens as well.”
Sheila Green, Bognor Regis Town Council’s project and street scene support officer, said: “People seem to be quite shy about putting themselves forward. We want to prompt them to do it.”