A village with just 800 residents is to stage its first arts festival.

Organisers at Leafield have booked Inspector Morse author Colin Dexter and former Goodies star and comedian Graeme Garden to make appearances, and are also laying on a heavy metal gig and scarecrow competition.

The week-long festival will be held in various venues, including the church, primary school, village hall and village green, from Friday, May 30, to Saturday, June 7.

Simon Bentley, who helped put the event together, said: "It is a small village, but there is a lot of enthusiasm to make it a success."

The festival includes six main events, but organisers are still planning other attractions, includ- ing a photography exhibition.

Jeanette Cayley, principal organiser, said: "We want to involve every aspect of the village and put it all together into one big celebration.

"We have the children at the village primary school making an eco-village model, local bands putting on a heavy metal gig in the village hall, a barbecue on the village green and, not forgetting, our annual competition with people putting out their scarecrows in their front gardens.

"We are looking for sponsorship and hope to make ends meet, but we have had a grant from West Oxon Arts.

"The village church has great acoustics, so we are making good use of it for some of the musical evenings."


  • FRIDAY, MAY 30: 17th century costume band The Oxford Waits, St Michael's Church. 7.30pm. Tickets £8 (residents/Friends of Wychwood £7). Call 01993 878893.
  • SATURDAY, MAY 31: Barn Dance, village hall, with Woodpeckers Folk Band. 7.30pm. Tickets £8 (£6 residents). Call 01993 878585.
  • WEDNESDAY, JUNE 4: Authors Colin Dexter (Inspector Morse) and Ann Granger (Mitchell & Markby) discuss their books, The Navy Oak restaurant. 8pm. Numbers limited, book on 01993 878000. Tickets £6.
  • THURSDAY, JUNE 5: Earl of Abingdon's Consort, music and readings from the 18th century, St Michael's Church. 8pm. Free.
  • FRIDAY, JUNE 6: An evening with Graeme Garden, St Michael's Church. 8pm. Tickets £6. Call 01993 878000.
  • SATURDAY, JUNE 7: Oxford Welsh Male Voice Choir, St Michael's Church, 7.30pm. Tickets £7. Call 01993 878000.