Farmer pays sunflower tribute to the NHS

Merseyside farmer Olly Harrison has planted hundreds of thousands of sunflowers in a unique tribute to the NHS.

Image © Steve Samosa

Merseyside farmer Olly Harrison has planted hundreds of thousands of sunflower seeds in a unique tribute to the NHS.

When people across the UK were coming together to ‘Clap for Carers’ each week, Olly decided to show his gratitude with sunflowers instead, spreading the seeds on his cereal farm in Tarbock in April.

Olly says: “If a farmer claps on their doorstep no one else can hear them. Clapping wasn’t enough so I decided to say it with sunflowers instead.”

From an aerial view, 200ft-high letters spelling ‘NHS’ can be seen, in addition to a maze for families to visit. It covers around 14 acres of farmland in total, using about 500,000 sunflower seeds.

Olly is donating 50 per cent of the proceeds from ticket sales to NHS charities and its charitable partners.

Visitors are booked into five minute slots to allow for social distancing.

Since opening last Saturday (18th July), the maze has already attracted hundreds of visitors, with more booking in via the website, but Olly warns that it may only be available for another week or so, depending on how long the flowers last.

The sunflower seed for the maze was donated by Syngenta Operation Pollinator.

Syngenta Operation Pollinator manager, Belinda Bailey, said: “Sunflowers bring a real smile whenever anyone sees them in field margins and conservation areas.

“When they are sown in conservation mixes the seeds can keep on feeding birds long into the winter.”

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