A GARDENER from East Oxford hopes to keep pigeons that keep attacking her vegetables at bay after learning how to build a scarecrow at a special workshop.

Liz Hodgson, who has an allotment at the Fairacres site in East Oxford, attended the event set up by Oxford City Council at Barracks Lane Community Gardens in Oxford on Sunday.

Ms Hodgson, 61, said she had terrible trouble defending her vegetables from the birds, but hoped her as-yet-unfinished scarecrow will do the trick.

She said: “We’ve got all sorts of things down there to try to protect the allotments. We’ve got nets, mesh, and even a mock bird, but nothing seems to keep them away.

“They keep coming along and eating the vegetables and leave nothing left for you.”

She added: “I’ve wanted to make a scarecrow for years but I was always a bit worried about how to do it and how to fit all the various pieces.

“But today it was excellent. We learnt how to do it in stages and fit all the pieces together one bit at a time.

“It was all very clear.”

Ms Hodgson, a singing teacher, said she only has to attach the head to her scarecrow before she will transport it to the allotment to start working its magic.

East Oxford resident John Green also made a scarecrow for his allotment, at Barracks Lane, and is also beset by pigeons according to Mr Green.

The 64-year-old DJ, who helps out at the community garden, said: “It’s not easy to build a scarecrow and it is a lost art.”

The event was organised by Oxford City Council as part of Low Carbon Oxford week, a week-long festival that features events across the city aimed at promoting environmental awareness.

The scarecrow workshop was designed to help people build something that helps them defend their crops, but they are also made with recycled clothes, so people took along their spare rags to help stop them going to landfill.

Ms Hodgson said the community gardens in Cumberland Road were a real focus for these kind of environmental and community events.

She said: “It was a completely toxic site and they spent lots of money on it to bring it back. It would be nice to see more places transformed in this way.”

* For more on Low Carbon Oxford week visit lcoweek.org