THE excitement of Moulton’s scarecrow trail proved too much for one of the village’s newest residents who arrived unexpectedly early to make the most of it.

Gavin and Laura Forshaw were busy preparing scarecrows for the trail with the help of the Darlington family next door when Laura suddenly went into labour and gave birth to baby Eli less than four hours later.

The youngster came a week before his due date, weighing in at 8lb 10oz.

Dad Gavin said: “The long and short of it is that we were making scarecrows with next door’s kids in a joint effort this year and we were painting the tower and they spilt some paint on the patio.

“Laura had gone down to mop up the paint and ended up leaving more mess behind when her waters broke all over the floor.”

The couple managed to encourage the Darlington boys back home next door without them realising what was happening and went ahead with a planned home birth.

Laura said: “Gavin tidied up and finished off the tower while I was running around thinking I needed to get all those last jobs done and tidy up.

“It was handy that it happened when we were near the end of the painting.

“It was all strategically planned,” she joked.

Gavin and Laura also have a daughter called Piper, aged two, who was one of the inspirations behind the family’s joint entry to the scarecrow trail with their neighbours.

Gavin said: “She’s at the age where she’s into princesses so we decided to do a princess in a tower and they would do a knight in shining armour coming to rescue her.

“Eli was particularly early – Piper was 15 days late but Eli was a week early.

“We completely blame the scarecrows and the effort Laura put in!”

The scarecrow trail took place in the two weeks before Saturday’s crow fair and saw more than 70 sculptures fill the village.