Whaplode maze reaches the ‘end of an era’

MAZE CLOSEDOWN: A family finds its way round Whaplode's Maze in Maize which is to end on October 8.  Photo by Tim Wilson.
MAZE CLOSEDOWN: A family finds its way round Whaplode's Maze in Maize which is to end on October 8. Photo by Tim Wilson.
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A mindbending maize field in Whaplode that has sent families’ heads spinning for more than 10 years is to close next month.

Maze in Maize, run by farming couple Lance and Sue Whittington since 2005, has entertained visitors with mazes based on themes, including sea life, space, Ancient Eqypt, the London 2012 Olympics and Alice in Wonderland last year.

But a combination of what Lance called “family and work commitments” has forced him and his wife to make this year’s Around the Maze in 80-themed puzzle the last.

Lance said: “It’s been great fun but the maze does need a break after doing it for 12 years.

“People have thoroughly enjoyed it and it’s been quite a hard decision to make to end it.

“But family and work commitments on the farm are getting more and more intense so I have to concentrate more on the farming side of things now.

It’s been great fun but the maze does need a break after doing it for 12 years

Lance Whittington, Maze in Maize, Whaplode

“I’ve had to think about stopping Made in Maize for a long time but it’s the end of an era.”

At its peak, Maze in Maize was one of Whaplode’s main village attractions alongside St Mary’s Church and its snowdrop flower collection, the Lamb and Flag pub, Spice Cottage Indian Restaurant and J.R. Cycles, run by John Simpson for more than 15 years.

Apart from the maze, Lance and his wife also grow daffodils, produce wheat, potatoes, sugar beet and herbs.

Explaining how the mazes are produced on the attraction’s website, Lance said: “In late April, we start the job of drilling the maize after the field has been ploughed in the winter to get rid of any weeds.

“When we work the land down in late April, the soil breaks up easily and we can then go and drill the maize seed.

“There are over 1.25 million maize seeds used to make the 12.5-acre field, with each seed placed at a set distance apart and at a depth of about three inches.

“In June when the maize plant has grown enough, the really hard work comes of marking the maze out so that people can get lost.”

Maze in Maize, in Sholtsgate, Whaplode, is open this Saturday and Sunday, September 24 and 25, from 10am until 6pm, although the last entry is at 5pm.

There are also Night Mazes on Saturday, October 1 and 8, from 6.30pm until 10.30pm and to book, call 07392 463812.