A South Lakes visitor attraction has launched a new ‘pick your own sunflower’ activity, offering even more reason for families – not to mention couples who’ve been married for three years – to drop in and enjoy.
The Lakeland Maze Farm Park, located at Sedgwick near Kendal, has grown around 50,000 sunflowers across a 1-acre field, so that families can get hands-on and enjoy picking their chosen giant flower.
Sunflowers are known for being spreaders of joy and optimism, so taking one home can brighten up the house – or someone else’s day. They are also the traditional flower with which to celebrate three years of marriage, so brides and grooms from 2018 could be amongst those heading to the field!
The sight of all the sunflowers is one that already has the cameras clicking, even if people don’t wish to pick one. The younger sunflowers are still doing that amazing thing associated with these flowers – turning their heads to follow the direction of the sun – whilst the more mature flowers, weighed down with thousands of seeds, have their heads fixed to the east.
These amazing flowers have fascinated cultures such as the Incas and the Native Americans, have become the national symbol of Russia and the Ukraine, not to mention the state flower of Kansas. They, of course, absorbed the artist Van Gogh, who painted a series of pictures featuring flowers that are also said to have fascinated Peter the Great.
The sunflower field is just new element at the park, which has gone all out to make its outdoor space second-to-none in another pandemic year. A real fire engine is proving a major draw amongst budding firefighters, although it will probably not be used in the way in which a German counterpart was deployed – to help measure the world’s tallest sunflower, for the Guinness World Record books. The Lakeland Maze Farm Park does not expect any of its flowers to break the 30 feet, 1 inch mark!
The sunflower field is also a perfect accompaniment to the main attraction, with this year’s maize maze being themed as a sunflower and covering 6.5 acres. Alongside that, there is a 1.5-acre bee and honeycomb-themed mini-maze, a new low-level balance trail of rope and plank challenges and ball games area, plus giant bouncing pillows. There are even new animals to meet.
Add to this the karts, slide, bouncy castle, indoor tube maze, vintage tractors, pedal toys and indoor soft play area and there is plenty to entertain. All has been put together with pandemic health concerns in mind, so food can be collected from new order-and-collect food stations outside, but with queuing areas under cover. The balance of outdoor to indoor activity has definitely shifted in favour of the former, even though plenty of indoor fun can still be had within the barns.
Owner, Graham Wadsworth, says: “Our new sunflower picking activity comes at just a very small charge and will give families a symbol of positivity and joy to take home with them, as either a memento of a glorious day out in the fresh air of the South Lakes, or as a gift for someone who did not manage to come along.
“Sunflowers symbolise positivity, joy and strength, so what could be better, after the 18 months we’ve been through.”