University Graduate Earns £250 a Week Working as a Human Scarecrow
In an interview with the BBC, 22-year-old Jamie Fox told how he had taken on a £250 a week role as a human scarecrow. Working in a field in Norfolk, Jamie’s job is to save a 10-acre field of oilseed rape from partridges, following traditional birdscarers failing to do so. Armed with a cowbell, a bright orange coat and an accordion, this music and English graduate also has his ukulele on hand for quieter periods as he tries to master the instrument.
Speaking to the BBC about his role, he said: “The farmer said to me, ‘Bring a deckchair and a good book.’”
“I get to sit and read for a lot of the time but whenever I see the partridges, I have to get up and scare them off.
“I ring a cowbell and I’ve even played the accordion, but the ukulele doesn’t seem to have any effect on them.”
The money he saves from this role he hopes will pay for his travels to New Zealand next year.
He continued, “It’s not a bad job. I’ve read some books and listened to a few podcasts.
“A couple of my friends in busier, more generously-paid jobs, are slightly envious.
“It’s nice to be out in the fresh air, although it gets very cold when the wind whips across the field and I’ve had to shelter in a wood when it’s rained.”
During his eight-hour shifts, Mr Fox may only see a few passing dog walkers or farm workers, with farmer William Young also checking on him on a daily basis.
Speaking about his decision to employ a human birdscarer, he said; “Partridges love rape – it’s like fillet steak to them.
“They nibble the leaves off, just leaving the stalk, and then it dies. Two or three years ago, we lost 30 acres (12 hectares), worth thousands of pounds.
“We’ve tried using bangers to scare them off but the partridges just come back a few minutes later.
“The only way to get rid of them is to walk down the field and push them off.”
Speaking about the role Jamie has played in keeping the partridges at bay, he said, “Jamie’s doing a good job. You can really see the difference.”