£4216 was raised for Sowenna, the inpatient mental health treatment unit at Bodmin for young people, when the gates to a field of more than 275,000 sunflowers were opened to the public last weekend.

The three-day event held at St Erme near Truro was organised by Hard Pressed Cornwall, a local artisan cooking oil producer, who is growing the crop in partnership with a local farmer to produce Cornwall’s first sunflower oil.sun flower

Jack Baines, founder of Hard Pressed Cornwall, said: “Our initial plan was to open the gates and put a donation bucket out, but it quickly became clear that demand from the public to see the sunflowers was greater than we first thought.

“We quickly made the event ticketed to control numbers to ensure social distancing and space for those visiting to safely park. The tickets we all snapped up in no time and we had more than 1,100 people visit who generously donated to Sowenna.”

The successful event has inspired a plethora of dreamy photos of the vista light up social media platforms and Jack is looking forwarding to making next year’s event bigger and better.

“The feedback from the event has been amazingly positive. We’re sorry that some people were disappointed that they missed out this time, but we’ll start planning for next year to enable as many people as possible the chance to come along.”

When the sunflower crop is harvested in late September it should yield ten tonnes of seed. The seed will then be cold pressed on the farm to produce around 3,000 litres of pure Cornish sunflower oil that will be sold direct from Hard Pressed Cornwall’s website and through a growing number of retail outlets.

In the meantime, Jack is requesting that people resist the urge to visit the field to take photos or flowers.

“It has taken significant investment to grow the crops, we politely ask that nobody enters the fields as it is private land. We’ve had to lock the gates and install CCTV to ensure the crop is protected.”