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The not for profit volunteer run community radio station covering central-southern Dorset

Bookings now available for the Dorset Sunflower Trail 2022

Maiden Castle Farm is running a major fundraising event for a second year, supporting two important charities.

The farm will create a spectacular sunflower trail which will raise funds for the DCH Kingfisher Ward and Cherkasy Hospital in Ukraine.  Profits generated by the trail will be donated by the farm, to be shared equally between these two chosen charities.

This year’s organiser Hazel Hoskin is working closely with Dorchester Town Council on a range of additional events and activities in Dorchester, all based around the theme of sunflowers to create a “Summer of Sunflowers”.

Visitors will be encouraged to visit Dorchester town centre to see spectacular sunflower sculptures suspended across South Street. There will also be 25 sunflower themed shop windows across the town and Poundbury as local retailers join in with the activities. How many do you think you can find?

Dorchester’s beautiful Borough Gardens will be a popular venue as it showcases a range of sunflower varieties which have been specially grown to highlight the beauty of these amazing flowers.

From Wednesday 20 July 2022, tickets can be booked online for timed slots, but there is no rush we want you to enjoy the Sunflowers, you can stay as long as you like.  People starting the trail will get a map on entrance, complete with a quiz challenge as you navigate the trail.  Dogs are not allowed in the Sunflower field, as the Sunflowers are going to be harvested to go into the food industry.  Dogs are allowed on the Maiden Castle Hill Fort nearby.  Registered disability assistance dogs are the only animals allowed into the Sunflower Trail.

Hazel &amp; Girls in the Sunflower Trail.<br /> Photo credit Seven Spring Photography.

Hazel & Girls in the Sunflower Trail.
Photo credit Seven Spring Photography.
Click to enlarge

The main event will happen in August at Maiden Castle Farm itself, when the sunflower crop is fully grown and in all its glory. The sunflower trail created on the farm will be a highlight for many people, especially the many thousands who visited the attraction last summer.

Hazel said “We were so lucky last year, judging by the photos on social media we helped friends and families to make some special memories.  As well as raising an amount of money that made a real difference to the Special Care Baby Unit in Dorset County Hospital”

The Main Sunflower Trail will take an estimated 30 minutes but there will also be a shorter trail for any visitors with accessibility requirements.  The attraction will include a photograph competition, opportunities for sundowner sessions, Pilates in the sunflowers and more to be announced.

To boost the green credentials of the event, visitors will be encouraged to follow a special scenic pavement path all the way from Dorchester’s town centre to the heart of the trail – a distance of about 1.5 miles. All this in the farm’s amazing location nestled at the foot of the historic Maiden Castle – the largest prehistoric hill fort in England.

You are invited to bring a picnic and enjoy dining next to one of the largest and most complex Iron Age Hillforts in Europe.  Following your visit to the Trail, access to the Maiden Castle Hillfort (which is maintained by English Heritage) is free and further exploration is suggested for a different viewpoint of the Sunflowers and panoramic views of the Dorset Countryside.

Hazel Hoskin added:

“We have tried our hardest to accommodate everyone, but please remember that the Sunflower Trail is just a farm field, therefore it can be very bumpy and uneven underfoot.  If you are planning a visit with family and friends with any disability and have any concerns please call to discuss them.  With all the sunflowers in the town centre we think this year will be even better and we hope that even more people will come along and join in the excitement.”

To keep updated follow us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/MaidenCastleFarm and website maidencastlefarm.co.uk/booking