Breathtaking sea of yellow as 88,000 sunflowers bloom on Suffolk estate

Molly- Rose with a freshly cut sunflower. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown

Molly-Rose with a freshly cut sunflower - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

A spectacular sea of 88,000 brightly-coloured sunflowers have bloomed in a Suffolk field - and they are bringing smiles and joy to young and old alike.

The Rougham Estate, near Bury St Edmunds, has been growing sunflowers for years to help boost local wildlife.

Joshua, Jessica and Chloe high above the 88000 sunflowers which have bloomed on the Rougham Estate.

Joshua, Jessica and Chloe high above the 88,000 sunflowers which have bloomed on the Rougham Estate - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

But joint owner George Agnew said: "We thought it would be a wonderful thing if the public could enjoy them as well."

So it set aside three acres of land to make a sunflower maze of "meandering, maze-like pathways".

Toby and Jessica amongst the sunflowers. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown

Toby and Jessica amongst the meandering maze of sunflowers - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Secluded areas with benches for people to enjoy a picnic in picturesque surroundings have also been created, while a giant swing in the middle of the field gives people a "wonderful opportunity to dream away and be a child again".


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The eager wait for the 7ft giants to blossom was somewhat delayed by the regular rainfall that often seems to characterise a great British summer.

Lorna, Tasia and Esme with the sunflowers. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown

Lorna, Tasia and Esme on a day out to the Rougham Estate, where 88,000 sunflowers have been planted - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

But they finally blossomed in early August, quickly becoming a tourist attraction as visitors flocked to take selfies in what must be one of Suffolk's most summery settings.

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And people can even pick a sunflower at £2 a stem as a memento of a wonderful summer's day out.

Elodie Fortes amongst the sunflowers at the Rougham Estate. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown

Elodie Fortes amongst the sunflowers at the Rougham Estate, near Bury St Edmunds - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

"It's proving incredible popular," Mr Agnew said.

"It has been really busy, with lots of children - and people have been enjoying the sunshine and taking lots of selfie pictures.

Lynn, Alice and Caroline picking their sunflowers with their dogs Molly and Willow at the Rougham Es

Lynn, Alice and Caroline picking their sunflowers with their dogs Molly and Willow at the Rougham Estate - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

"You retreat to being a child, even when you're an adult - because they are so tall.

"It's that time of year when families want to go outside.

"After the coronavirus crisis, there's a real yearning for people to meet up outside where they feel safe.

"This gives people a wonderful opportunity to do stuff outside - and it is perfect timing this year, when not many people are going away on holiday but are trying to find things to do from home.

"This is a perfect, easy thing to do that costs very little."

Even though the sunflowers were only planted by machine in the spring, the project has taken months of planning.

Workers spent many hours cutting a maze of paths through the field, with Mr Agnew saying: "It took some skill.

"When you get inside, it's like a labyrinth.

"It's like the world of the Wizard of Oz."

The sunflower field is just off the A14 at junction 45 and is fully signposted.

Picnicking is encouraged, but there are also refreshments available from the Courtyard Cafe at Blackthorpe Barn and the Mobile Brew Co coffe trailer at weekends.

Admission and parking are both free and there is no need to book in advance. Toilets and baby changing facilities are available.

Lorna, Tasia and Esme with the sunflowers. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown

Lorna, Tasia and Esme take pictures with the sunflowers at Rougham - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

 For more information, visit the Blackthorpe Barn website.

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