Visitors enjoy the ‘perfect day’ at Sam’s Sunflowers on Hayling Island

FAMILIES from across Hampshire and the South Coast enjoyed the ‘perfect day’ after walking among the sunflower fields of Hayling Island.

Monday, 10th August 2020, 5:55 pm
Hannah and Jessica Bryant, aged five and eight, enjoy Sam's Sunflowers. Picture: Sarah Standing

With temperatures across the county peaking at 32.9C, people have been enjoying the sunshine - none more so than at Sam’s Sunflowers where visitors got the chance to experience first-hand the radiant horticultural giants and even take up to six flowers home.

Helen Bryant, 49, from Portchester, was there with her family.

She said: ‘It was the perfect summer’s day. The colours were fantastic and we really enjoyed it.

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Sally Slidel, 23, and Scott Hawley, 24. Scott, who works at Sam's Sunflowers, said the the flower fields have been 'very popular'. Picture: Sarah Standing

‘After being cooped up during lockdown it was nice to walk through the fields without worrying about the environment you are in. It’s the kind of day we will all look back on and remember.’

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Meet the family behind Hayling Island's sunflower farm

She was joined by husband John, 41, and daughters, Jessica, eight, and Hannah, five.

Jessica said: ‘When I saw the sunflowers I just thought “wow” they are so bright and colourful.’

Visitors decided to visit the sunflower fields after seeing the ‘spectacular photographs’ online with many people travelling from outside of the county.

Teaching assistant Catherine Cobden, 43, travelled from Worthing to enjoy the flowers.

Catherine said: ‘I’d seen photographs and decided I had to go and see the fields myself. I love sunflowers as they remind me of summer - the flower heads even follow the sun.’

At 5ft 6ins, Catherine said ‘some of the sunflowers were taller than me’.

‘It was actually surreal to be standing surrounded by so many of them, she said. ‘My son, Ben, even picked one to give to his girlfriend.’

Field owner Sam Wilson first cultivated the sunflowers seven years ago on his Stoke Fruit Farm site for his wife, Annabel.

Scott Hawley, 24, who works on the farm, said: ‘Sam noticed how much interest the field generated and decided to open it to the public.’

While temperatures on Hayling Island hit around 28C, Scott said ‘it was not the hottest day’.

He added: ‘There was a nice breeze today. The sunflowers have been so popular - we’ve had a constant stream of people.’

Today’s hottest UK temperature was recorded at 35.1C in St James Park in London.

Farnborough was the hottest Hampshire place on Monday.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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