Schools' Scarecrow Competition Factsheet

RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017

Before completing your application, please read through this document. It explains:

  • Contacts
  • Theme
  • General information
  • Prizes
  • Visiting the show

Applications must be received no later than 10 March 2017. Your completed application along with a colour photograph or drawing of your scarecrow will then be reviewed. If your scarecrow is accepted into the show you will be contacted in April 2017 by email confirming your acceptance. You will then need to submit an online attendance confirmation and risk assessment form by end of April 2017.

Scarecrows must be staged on either Saturday 01 July or Sunday 02 July. The Press Day visit on Monday 03 July will now be for pupils to visit the show and view the scarecrow before the show is open to the public only.


Shows Department general telephone: 020 3176 5800

General Enquiries:
Deputy Show Manager: Gemma Lake
020 7821 3346

Press Office:
020 7821 3043

Marketing Office:
020 7821 3036

Accounts Office:
01483 479743

Theme: 'A Walk on the Wild Side'

Jump into your wellies and explore your back garden; there's always plenty to see and do in the garden no matter what the time of year. Gardens are a haven for all manner of mammals, birds and creepy crawlies which is why it is so important to make sure you support them by growing plants that will feed and hide them. How many different animals have you seen in your gardens at home and school?

To celebrate the amazing variety of wildlife Britain has, the scarecrow competition theme is A Walk on the Wild Side and we want you to be inspired by the people, places and animals across the UK.

General Information


  • Entries are welcomed from all pre-schools and primary schools (up to age 11 or year 6) from the South East counties of England (Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, East Sussex, West Sussex, Essex, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Greater London, City of London, Surrey, Middlesex), who are registered with the RHS Campaign for School Gardening.
  • If you are not already registered it is easy and free. Click here to register.
  • No charge is made for entering the scarecrow competition.
  • Only one entry per school is permitted.


  • Every scarecrow must include an element of plant material which can be dried, fresh or living. Minimum requirements are at least one 1L potted plant or one bunch of fresh or dried flowers.
  • Scarecrows should be well made and made from scratch. You are encouraged to use recycled materials but it is important that scarecrows are substantial and able to withstand all weather conditions.
  • The maximum height is 1.8m and scarecrows should have no loose or easily detachable parts.
  • You may use props or accessories to enhance your scarecrow.
  • Scarecrows must follow the theme 'A Walk on the Wild Side'.
  • Your entry must be a single scarecrow.

Attendance confirmation & risk assessments

  • Following confirmation that the scarecrow has been accepted at the show, each school will be required to submit the attendance confirmation and risk assessment which also will confirm details of the schools visit on Press Day. The RHS will contact you in April 2017 with the link to the form. Passes to access the show will only be issued once the risk assessment has been received. The form can be viewed here but please do not submit the form unless asked to do so in April 2017.


  • Each school is responsible for bringing their scarecrow to the show over the two days prior to press day; Saturday 01 July and Sunday 02 July 2017.
  • Only two adults will be allowed onto the showground to stage their school scarecrow.
  • Upon allocation, coordinators will be given an allocated time to arrive at the showground to stage their scarecrow.
  • High visibility vests and covered, sensible footwear must be worn - open toed shoes and heels are prohibited on site.
  • Children will not be allowed access to the showground prior to Press Day.
  • One 2m (approx.) wooden post will be provided for each school and cable ties for fixing will also be provided - scarecrows must be fixed to this pole and the pole cannot be cut or altered.
  • Schools are advised to bring additional fixings such as cable ties to help secure their scarecrow.
  • The staging area is a long way from the car park so schools should consider how they will move their scarecrow from the car park to the staging area. Please note a limited number of wheelbarrows will be available but it is recommended to plan around this to avoid waiting for them to become available.


  • Scarecrows can be collected from the showground on Monday 10 July between 13:00 and 18:00. Any scarecrows left after this date will be removed.
  • Only two adults will be allowed onto the showground to collect their school scarecrow. 
  • High visibility vests and covered, sensible footwear must be worn - open toed shoes and heels are prohibited on site.
  • Children will not be allowed access to the showground during collection.


All schools will receive a certificate of participation.

The scarecrows will be on display for the whole of show week. During this time visitors to the show will be able to vote for their favourite scarecrow by penny drop. Votes will be counted at 12 noon on Sunday 09 July and the winning scarecrow will be announced on the RHS website and be email to all participants following the show.

Prizes are available for the three most popular scarecrows as voted for by the visitors to the show are as follows:

  • 1st prize - £200 Garden Centre Vouchers and a certificate
  • 2nd prize - £150 Garden Centre Vouchers and a certificate
  • 3rd Prize - £50 Garden Centre Vouchers and a certificate

Visiting the Show on Press Day

  • A fixed number of up to 20 school children and 4 teachers' passes will be provided for each school to access the show on Press Day, Monday 03 July, between 11:00 and 15:00. Press day is an exclusive opportunity to experience the show before it is open to the public and because of this please note that we have a limited amount of passes available. To avoid disappointment, please plan for this well in advance and if additional people would like to visit the show they will need to purchase a ticket (see below for details).
  • On receipt of the schools attendance confirmation and risk assessment online form, Press Day passes for adults and wristbands for children will be posted. Before arriving at the show, schools much ensure that the child's name and mobile telephone number for a supervisor is written onto each wristband.
  • Schools may bring additional props to finish dressing the scarecrow during the visit.
  • Along with passes, each school will also receive a copy of the children's trail, safety briefing, map and top 10 features to see at the show to enable teachers to plan their day.
  • All children must wear high visibility vests which must be provided by the school. The RHS will not be able to provide high visibility clothing.
  • If friends and family would like to come to the show between Tuesday 04 and Sunday 09 July, then tickets can be purchases online here or by phone on 0844 338 7505 (calls cost 7p per minute plus your phone company's access charge).

Ready to apply? Click here to go back to the previous page.

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