For the second year running, a Portglenone couple, Damian and Karen McAllister, have sown out a field near their home in sunflowers and wildflowers and opened it to the public. This year Damian has added another small meadow sown in plants attractive to pollinators.
And it's not just bees and butterflies come to the field. Evenings bring flocks of birds to feed on the seeds and insects. It is a wonderful sight.
I visited yesterday on a dull day and still found the place packed with visitors, many of them families with young children. It was delightful to see those children enjoying nature, asking their parents questions about insects and flowers. Who knows what passions the Sunflower Field will have sparked in those young minds. Last year the McAllisters raised close to £10,000 for their local church, this year they are raising money for Macmillan Cancer Support. It's only £2 to visit, half-price for children up to 18, free for under-fives. This year, I expect they'll make even more. Macmillan is a charity that is dear to me as the support we received when Matty was sick was so welcome. And right now Macmillan nurses are helping to look after our little great-niece Ava.
Last year Ava was well enough to visit the Sunflower Field with her Aunt Naoise. But not this year as she is too ill.
Ava, Sunflower Girl, by Naoise
Sunflowers, by Zoe
Evie, by Zoe
Emily & Katy, by Zoe