Fields of sunflowers will be returning to Gower this year – and not just in Rhossili.
In recent years thousands of visitors have flocked to Rhossili to enjoy the fields of sunflowers planted with the stunning backdrop of Worm’s Head. The initiative was started by the National Trust, which last year was unable to plant the fields due to its staff being furloughed during the coronavirus pandemic.
Instead, local farmer Robert Morgan stepped into the breach, buying two fields next to the spot used by the Trust in previous years, and planting. His sunflowers were in a variety of colours, while the site was also used to showcase food and drink from local Gower producers.
And he has already been planting seeds ready for them to be in full bloom for July. And the National Trust will also have its own displays.
But this year, in an attempt to ease some of the pressure on the village, which at points witnessed long tailbacks of traffic from visitors, along with some mess and damage caused by a minority of people climbing over walls, he is also planting a field in Three Crosses, site of his business, Gower Fresh Christmas Trees.
“We are planting the sunflowers as usual and it will be nice seeing everyone out of lockdown,” said Mr Morgan.
“We are a lot more organised this year; I’ve been down there today working on it. We are improving the field and fencing things off. We’ve got sunflowers in a variety of colours; white, red, pink, orange as well as yellow. And this year we will be having a nature trail as well, where people can just wander and have a look at insects and other wildlife.
“People will be able to pick some of the sunflowers, as well as take home a biodegradable packet of seeds. We’ve also got some great wooden sculptures this year. It’s been a haven all winter, with animals feasting on the sunflower seeds.
“The village has been quiet during lockdown but Worm’s Head is always a destination. It’s not so much a farming community any more, there are a lot of people with second homes. We try to keep the queues down and limit the amount of people. This year we are going to have some sunflowers in Three Crosses, which will hopefully take the pressure off. We want to educate people so that they come at certain times”.
Sign up to the SwanseaOnline newsletter to receive our top stories straight to your inbox.
It takes just seconds to sign up – simply click here, enter your email address and follow the instructions.
Changed your mind? There’s an ‘unsubscribe’ button at the bottom of every newsletter we send out.
Mr Morgan also urged people to be respectful of the environment when they visited, asking them to follow signs, shut gates, and clean up dog mess.
In addition to the flowers themselves, other attractions will include local seafood, including cockles and locally sourced fish, as well as Gower donuts and Welsh cakes made daily in the village.
Last year, a percentage of the money raised from picking flowers was donated to the RNLI and Rhossili Church.
The National Trust said it would be planting a smaller display of sunflowers on the Vile again, accessible from the National Trust car park. In addition, there will be a mixed crop of linseed and poppies, to attract bees, butterflies and other pollinators.
Find great options for your family in your local area:
Later in the year, birds such as skylarks, goldfinches and linnets will benefit as the crops turn to seed.
General Manager for the National Trust, Alan Kearsley-Evans, said: “We are looking forward to welcoming people back to our flowering fields this summer, our team will be on hand to help everyone make the most of their visit. However, we do have limited parking at Rhossili so if the car park is full, we ask people to please come back another time for the safety of our staff, volunteers and visitors. We encourage everyone to visit at quieter times, follow the countryside code and check our web page and social media channels before travelling.”
Mr Morgan added: “It has been a tough year for everyone, so hopefully this will be a great chance to put a smile on faces and help mental health.
“Rhossili and Worm’s Head is a beautiful part of the world. You can see porpoises and seals in the sea today. I’m a tough old farmer, but even I enjoy standing in the field of sunflowers and enjoying the view – there’s nowhere else like it”.