AT FIRST glance it looks like every health and safety official’s worst nightmare.

One man is hanging upside down from a ladder while another is lying on the ground after being badly injured by a piece of equipment. Meanwhile, one of their colleagues has been crushed by a pile of bricks.

The mishaps suffered by the ‘wonky workforce’ are a perfect example of what can go wrong on a construction site.

Luckily, the situation is not nearly as bad as it appears.

The accident-prone figures in the garden of a house in Bisterne are among the entries in the village’s annual scarecrow festival, which runs until next Monday.

Jade Lake, five, and six-year-old Hollie Trent have helped create the eye-catching display.

The festival features a wide array of other characters including a group of penguins, a couple sitting in front of a tiny house and a waitress standing outside the village hall. Town criers have been placed at each end of the village to “announce” the festival.

More than 25 scarecrows have been created for this year’s event – slightly more than usual.

Organiser Tina Haughton said: “We normally get about 21-22 but some new people have moved into the community and have decided to get involved.”

People visiting the event say it is like taking part in a bizarre treasure hunt.

Maps showing the location of each scarecrow are available at the Texaco Garage at the entrance to the village, Dragons Cottages opposite the village hall, the Ringwood Gateway council offices and the Tyrrells Ford Hotel.

Everyone requesting a map is asked to make a £1 donation which will go towards the upkeep of the hall.

Tina added: “The scarecrows will go on display at the Ringwood Carnival on September 21. After that it’s up to the individual families – some people decide to keep them.”

The first known scarecrows were made by the ancient Egyptians, who used them to protect fields of wheat along the River Nile from flocks of quail.

Egyptian farmers built wooden frames in the fields and covered them with nets. In medieval England young boys or girls were used as live scarecrows. They patrolled the fields and scared away birds by hurling rocks at them or waving their arms.

Later on farmers stuffed sacks of straw and leaned them against a pole in a bid to protect their crops.