By Debbie James

A field overlooking the sea at Broad Haven morphed from green to yellow this summer when it played host to 160,000 sunflowers.

Arable grower Phil Rees planted the four-acre field with sunflower seed and, once the plants matured, opened it up to the public as a pick-your-own site.

“It was a bit of a last minute decision,’’ Mr Rees admits. “Having grown sunflowers many years ago we decided to grow them again and promote PYO and also to give people the opportunity to view and take pictures.

“We had a tremendous response, much greater than I had anticipated.’’

An honesty box was positioned at the field entrance.

This year proved to be excellent for growing sunflowers as the plant thrives on sunshine and heat. “It’s similar to maize in that respect,’’ says Mr Rees.

Mr Rees is planning to repeat the exercise next year, but with some variations. “We might look at a sunflower maize perhaps,’’ he says.

The crop, which was combined in October, yielded around a tonne per acre.

“My thoughts are to sell some of it in 1kg-5kg packs for bird feed. Whatever’s left will go into animal feed,’’ says Mr Rees.