We are delighted to announce the winner of our ‘Make a Scarecrow’ competition.
Laura Gaiger from West Hill was awarded the top spot for her characterful scarecrow, which she named Otto.
Laura is deaf, and partially sighted, and was supported in her creative efforts by Gayle Mcgoldrich from charity Sense, which provides services for those who are deafblind or have complex disabilities.
Gayle said: “Laura simply loves otters! When she was thinking how her scarecrow might look, we explored different ideas, and started talking about how the plant nurseries at Otter are like the nurseries which children go to. This made Laura think of baby otters and this became the inspiration for Otto, who protects baby otters.”
The scarecrow took Laura around four weeks to complete at Sense’s Exeter centre. She used some of her dad’s clothes and, to bring her concept alive, she added several toy otters perching on his arms and head. Otto was then taken to Laura’s home before being transported to Otter’s Ottery St Mary store to go on display with other entries.
Otto’s homecoming showed he was ‘fit for purpose’. “When Otto came to our house, he certainly had an impact on our wildlife – no birds came to the bird feeder for the entire weekend!” explained dad, Bob. Laura added that the family’s dog, Barney, was also a little nervous around the spectacular scarecrow.
The competition ran across all our garden centres and attracted many fantastic entries in the adult and children’s categories. Initial judging was based on votes from the public, with all the first-placed entries in both categories winning Otter gift cards.
Otter’s management team, including Marketing Manager Chris Amphlett, then debated the overall winner. Chris said: “It was a tough call as the entries were just so impressive, with lots of thought and creativity going into the designs. But after careful deliberation, it was the idea of Otto protecting baby otters that caught the imagination of the judging panel – we just couldn’t resist!”
Laura won the top prize, a superb British-made Elite greenhouse worth £1000. She particularly enjoys growing tomatoes from seed and is looking forward to sharing next year’s crop with her friends from Sense.
A huge well done to Laura and we hope Otto keeps on protecting those otters!