Stunning scarecrows in the shape of a GB cyclist, a farmer and a local cook have mysteriously appeared across Dewsbury to Stand Up For British Standards.
The scarecrows appeared at key spots across the town this week, encouraging West Yorkshire MPs to stand with them to celebrate the quality of British food and farming by making sure high food quality, environment and animal welfare standards are enshrined in upcoming trade deals and legislation.
The scarecrows, designed by local artist Gillian Tyler, reflect local history and personalities. They feature well-known Dewsbury cook Perminda Kaur, farmer James Pearson and a generic female GB cyclist.
They bring a serious message to the town that British food standards are under threat in the UK-US trade deal talks.
The Stand Up For British Standards Campaign, organised by Conservation charity WWF-UK, calls on MPs, food producers, businesses and shoppers to ensure high standards are maintained in the on-going trade talks.
Katie White, executive director of Advocacy and Campaigns at WWF, said: “Farmers across Dewsbury and Yorkshire work hard to make sure the food we eat is safe and healthy and our beautiful countryside is there for generations to enjoy. Britain has some of the highest standards in the world and our farmers are ready to go further to help the country prosper after Brexit.
“There’s a risk that trade deals being struck by the Government right now could undercut our farmers, put low quality food on our shelves and pollute our local environment. To stop that from happening we urgently need protection in law for our high standards of food quality, environmental protection and animal welfare.
“The sooner MPs commit to standing up for British standards, the sooner the scarecrows can return to their farms. And they’re quite keen to get back home.”
The campaign is backed by the local community including Alexandra Vaughan who runs micro bakery The Crow’s Rest and Brenda Halliwell from the Springvale Community Garden.
The scarecrows and props are made from local and sustainable materials, including reused clothing and biodegradable hay and straw. Yorkshire artist Gillian Tyler has been working with WWF to craft and design the scarecrows to ensure they capture the public’s attention.
Gillian said: “I am supporting the WWF campaign to protect our food because here in Britain we have the highest standards for animal health and wellbeing.
“As a mother, a keen cook and someone who is interested in protecting the biodiversity of our environment, I am always concerned about the origin and the quality of food that I bring to the table. It is important to me that the food we eat has been produced safely and with high animal welfare standards and that it has been done in a way that safeguards our environment for future generations.”
Gillian added: “The scarecrows will return to their farms on September 25 when their job is done, be sure to share with your MP while you have the chance.”