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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 July, 2004, 12:27 GMT 13:27 UK
Visitors flock to giant Shrek
The giant Shrek stands at the foot of the Mathias family's garden
Visitors are flocking to see a huge model of Shrek at a scarecrow festival in west Wales - but what the birds make of the 18ft giant is anyone's guess.

The ogre is one of the stars of the 'heroes and villains' themed event at Llangwm in Pembrokeshire.

It took the Mathias family 10 days and a lot of chicken wire, papier-mâché and foam to build the popular film character at the foot of their garden.

As word spreads, Shrek fans are travelling for miles to see him.

This is the sixth year the annual Scarecrow Festival Fortnight has been staged in the village.

More than 80 householders have made scarecrows for their gardens but it is Shrek that is turning most heads.

Shirley Mathias said most of the work had been done by her son Andrew, an engineering student.

"Children are fascinated by him and we have had hundreds of people travel from all over Pembrokeshire to see him," she said.

"Everybody says we've got the face right.

Batman and Robin

"We do one every year but this has been the biggest.

"The head is basically chicken wire and papier-mâché and the nose and ears are carved out of expanding foam.

"They are supposed to come down on Sunday when the festival ends but I think he will be up for a few weeks yet as so many people are still coming to see him.

"I don't know what we will do with him then - someone said we should sell him on eBay as the Americans would love him."

The Llangwm Scarecrow Festival started out as a fundraiser for the village's Millennium celebrations.

It has become an annual event and people walking around the village can also see Batman and Robin, King Arthur, Hannibal Lecter, Saddam Hussein and even the head teacher of the village school.

Scene from Shrek 2
The 'real' Shrek in Shrek 2, which has become one of the biggest films of all time

Mike Hardwick was involved in organising the inaugural event.

He said money raised goes towards this Saturday's carnival and an annual New Year's Day firework display.

"Last year was the most (scarecrows) we had with about 156 although this year there are about 90," he explained.

"It's something that you hope will continue because it's a bit of fun and the children enjoy it, although there is a bit of anxiety beforehand trying to think of new things and wondering what to do."

Mrs Mathias said her family were already planning next year's masterpiece.

"I won't say what but every year people in the village keep asking," she added.

The sequel Shrek 2 has become the biggest animated film of all time at the US box office and is a big hit already in the UK.

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14 Jan 04  |  South West Wales
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07 Aug 03  |  Cornwall


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