One furious woman expressed her displeasure over the huge bird-scarer. The mother from Billericay, who refused to give her name, said: "I think it's incredibly distasteful and it is making fun of Jesus. I drove past the scarecrow with my daughter and she said, 'Look, Mummy, there's a man on a cross' – I don't think she should see that. It's an unmistakable crucifix and it's making a mockery out of my religion."
David Finkle, general manager at Barleylands Farm Park and Craft Village, helped to make the scarecrow to promote the farm's half-term activities for children. The giant scarecrow took a team of four people two days to make. Mr Finkle said: "There does seem to be a difference in opinion and one or two people have said to me that they think it looks like a crucifix but everyone else has been so enthusiastic. He doesn't have hands or feet with nails through them, he's made of bailer twine.
"It took us ages to make his giant patchwork jacket and he is complete with raffia hair which changes in the wind. I want to bring children's learning to life and I made the scarecrow so people knew about the Books, Cooks and Scarecrow week we're holding. Kids can make scones from scratch and then go out and make their own scarecrows. I think it's a shame that children don't do as much outside and we want to change that and bring their learning alive. He's a brilliant example of a scarecrow stuffed with straw."