Walks starting from Bingham Town Hall & Maplehampton scarecrow competition – IELTS General Reading Passage

You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 1-14, which are based on Reading Passages below.

Write answers to questions in boxes 1-14 on your answer sheet.

GT Reading Sample – “Maps showing walks starting from Bingham Town Hall” & “The Maplehampton scarecrow competition”

Read the text below and answer Questions 1-5.

Maps showing walks starting from Bingham Town Hall

A  The walk described in this leaflet takes you to one of the many places in the district where bricks were made for hundreds of years, until it was closed in the late 19th century. This brickworks is now the largest and best-known nature reserve in the area. Please note that the ground is very uneven, and under-sixes should not be taken on this walk.

B  This walk will take you to the top of Burley Hill, along a nice easy path that people of all ages will be able to manage. From the summit you can see for a great distance to the north and west, across a landscape that includes half a dozen lakes and the entrance to Butter Caves. Bear in mind, though, that mist often comes in from the sea and covers the hilltop.

C  This route leads you through the village of Cottesloe, which was created in the 1930s and is famous for its strange-looking houses and ceramics factory, which is still the largest employer in the area. An artificial lake was originally created beside the village, and has since been filled in and turned into an adventure playground. After you leave Cottesloe, you have a choice of routes to return to the starting point, so either continue via Thurley Park, or if it’s raining, take the shorter direct route.

D  This walk is ideal in fine weather, as it takes you to the shore of a lake, at a spot convenient for swimming. Children will want to enjoy themselves in the adventure playground nearby. From there you continue to Starling Cottage, which draws people from around the world to visit the home, from 1920 to 1927, of the poet Barbara Cottam.

E  If you want an easy, undemanding walk over flat ground, this walk will suit you perfectly. It passes the entrance to the famous Butter Caves visitor attraction, so you can combine a visit there with the walk, or just take shelter if it starts raining! On the final stage of the walk you pass through Wimpole, the village where Richard Merton, the architect of a number of local buildings, lived for much of his life.

Questions 1-5
The text has five paragraphs, A-E.
Which paragraph mentions the following?
Write the correct letter, A-E, in boxes 1-5 on your answer sheet.

NB You may use any letter more than once.

1.  the chance to go into caves
2.  the chance to spend time beside a lake
3.  some unusual architecture
4.  unsuitability for young children
5.  the length of the walk depending on the weather

Read the text below and answer Questions 6-14.

The Maplehampton scarecrow competition – a great success!

There was once a time when farmers all over the country put scarecrows in fields of growing crops. A traditional scarecrow was a model – usually life-size – of a man or woman dressed in old clothes, and their purpose was to frighten the birds away; though how successful they were is a matter of opinion!

Maplehampton’s scarecrow competition took place on September 12th. Local farmers supplied everything needed to make a scarecrow – like pieces of wood to form a frame, and straw to stuff the scarecrow. The scarecrows were dressed in old clothes which the competitors brought with them.

The festival was held in the village hall, instead of outdoors as planned, due to the unusually high temperature. There were two classes, one for adults and one for children, all of them working in small teams. Over 20 teams took part, each creating one scarecrow. They were encouraged by an audience of around 50, and had ideas and guidance from local artist Tracey Sanzo.

The scarecrows were judged by a team of people from the village. The winning children’s team made a scarecrow that looked like a giant bird – which would surely keep every real bird away! The winning adult team’s scarecrow was dressed as an alien from another planet, and its face was painted to make it look very frightening – at least to human beings!

After the judging, many of the participants and the spectators had a picnic which they had brought. Some of the scarecrows then went home to their creators’ gardens. Alice Cameron, a local farmer, liked one of the scarecrows so much, she bought it to stand on her balcony: she said she didn’t need it to scare birds away from her crops, as only bird-scarers that made a noise were effective. She just wanted to be able to see it!

The event raised over £300 for village funds.

Questions 6-14

Do the following statements agree with the information given in the text?
In boxes 6-14 on your answer sheet, write

    TRUE         if the statement agrees with the information
    FALSE        if the statement contradicts the information
    NOT GIVEN   if there is no information on this

6.  Traditionally, most scarecrows were the same size as a human being.
7.  The competition in September was the first one in Maplehampton.
8.  The farmers who provided materials could take part in the competition.
9.  Old clothes were supplied to the people who made the scarecrows.
10.  The venue for the competition was changed because of the weather.
11.  Competitors could get advice on making their scarecrows.
12.  In the judges’ opinion, the scarecrow dressed as an alien was better than the giant bird.
13.  The competition organisers supplied a picnic for the competitors and spectators.
14.  Alice Cameron bought a scarecrow to frighten birds away from her crops.

1. E
2. D
3. C
4. A
5. C
10. TRUE
11. TRUE