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Pumpkin patch is back open in Undley this October




One of the region’s popular seasonal events opened near Lakenheath on Saturday.

Undley Farm Events’ pumpkin patch welcomed overjoyed families for its first 2020 weekend, with new Covid-secure measures in place.

Re-opening might have caused a few organisational headaches for owners Anthony and Sally Pooley – not least introducing a ticket system for the first time – but it is all worth it to give families a great day out, according to Sally.

Pumpkin Patch & Maize Maze, Undley Road, Beck Row, families picking their pumpkins, enjoying the maize maze and other activities a straw bale pyramid and pumpkin carving. Pumpkin Patch staff with painted trailor.Picture by Mark Westley. (42538805)
Pumpkin Patch & Maize Maze, Undley Road, Beck Row, families picking their pumpkins, enjoying the maize maze and other activities a straw bale pyramid and pumpkin carving. Pumpkin Patch staff with painted trailor.Picture by Mark Westley. (42538805)

“Obviously we have had to make a lot of changes so it’s been a little more stressful than usual,” she said.

“Our first weekend went well and hopefully it will continue.

“Many people have been very grateful that we’re open. Families are desperate to go out somewhere.

Pumpkin Patch & Maize Maze, Undley Road, Beck Row, families picking their pumpkins, enjoying the maize maze and other activities a straw bale pyramid and pumpkin carving demonstrations. Jill Tomkin in the craft tent..Picture by Mark Westley. (42538806)
Pumpkin Patch & Maize Maze, Undley Road, Beck Row, families picking their pumpkins, enjoying the maize maze and other activities a straw bale pyramid and pumpkin carving demonstrations. Jill Tomkin in the craft tent..Picture by Mark Westley. (42538806)

“It is on 75 acres so it is a huge space and I think people are happy we are open, they can easily social distance and they can come for a day out.

“These are verysaddening times and I think people are just fed up with not being able to do anything, but now they can come to see us.”

Admission to the pumpkin patch is, as in previous years, free, however tickets are essential.

“Having tickets means we can limit numbers on site so we know we are and to keep visitors and staff safe,” said Sally.

The attraction is open for the next three weekends and all of half-term, up to and including October 31.

Pumpkin Patch & Maize Maze, Undley Road, Beck Row, families picking their pumpkins, enjoying the maize maze and other activities a straw bale pyramid and pumpkin carving demonstrations. Kate, Adele, Sabine and Joshua Eaton from Brandon..Picture by Mark Westley. (42538809)
Pumpkin Patch & Maize Maze, Undley Road, Beck Row, families picking their pumpkins, enjoying the maize maze and other activities a straw bale pyramid and pumpkin carving demonstrations. Kate, Adele, Sabine and Joshua Eaton from Brandon..Picture by Mark Westley. (42538809)

“The weekend tickets are going fast, but with being open over half-term there’s plenty of tickets for everyone,” said Sally.

One of the event’s ever-popular annual features is its maize maze, and this year’s twisty-turny creation is an eye-catching work of art.

Those navigating the corn paths in search of seven hidden pumpkin letters might have no idea that the maze is a topical celebration of the NHS and key-workers for their role in the pandemic, while also featuring a giant rainbow and Captain Sir Tom Moore.

Pumpkin Patch & Maize Maze, Undley Road, Beck Row, families picking their pumpkins, enjoying the maize maze and other activities a straw bale pyramid and pumpkin carving demonstrations. Mason Milward..Picture by Mark Westley. (42538812)
Pumpkin Patch & Maize Maze, Undley Road, Beck Row, families picking their pumpkins, enjoying the maize maze and other activities a straw bale pyramid and pumpkin carving demonstrations. Mason Milward..Picture by Mark Westley. (42538812)

Sally said: “We try to do something topical with the maize maze every year. Last summer we did Brexit. This year, we felt it had to be the NHS and key workers for the fantastic job they do.

“My husband Anthony and I came up with the idea on pen and paper before it was sent to a design company. A second firm then plotted the final design using GPS.

“When the maize was 12 inches high Anthony and I followed them around with their two GPS poles to cut the design.”

Pumpkin Patch & Maize Maze, Undley Road, Beck Row, families picking their pumpkins, enjoying the maize maze and other activities a straw bale pyramid and pumpkin carving demonstrations. Lily and Caitlin Glass with Amelia 8 from Hadleigh.Picture by Mark Westley. (42538808)
Pumpkin Patch & Maize Maze, Undley Road, Beck Row, families picking their pumpkins, enjoying the maize maze and other activities a straw bale pyramid and pumpkin carving demonstrations. Lily and Caitlin Glass with Amelia 8 from Hadleigh.Picture by Mark Westley. (42538808)

This year, 50p from every maize maze entry fee is being donated to the NHS, along with the traditional £1,000 prize pot for collecting all the hidden letters – which spell out a topical word.

Other attractions at the event include donkey rides, a giant straw pyramid, craft tent, walking magician Wayne Goodman, pumpkin carving demonstrations, walking pet balloons, a lucky dip, food and drink.

But, of course, the star attraction has to be the pumpkins themselves.

Pumpkin Patch & Maize Maze, Undley Road, Beck Row, families picking their pumpkins, enjoying the maize maze and other activities a straw bale pyramid and pumpkin carving demonstrations..Picture by Mark Westley. (42538810)
Pumpkin Patch & Maize Maze, Undley Road, Beck Row, families picking their pumpkins, enjoying the maize maze and other activities a straw bale pyramid and pumpkin carving demonstrations..Picture by Mark Westley. (42538810)

This year, pumpkin picking is straight from the vine, with thousands of pumpkins – and about 30 varieties – in various sizes available.

Visitors can take advantage of a fleet of wheelbarrows to transport their pumpkins, or their choice from 50 varieties of ornamental gourds and squashes, back to the car from the field.

Pumpkin prices range from £1-£6 and gourds 50p-£1.

Free booking is essential. For more information and to book, go to www.undleyfarmevents.co.uk

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