A-maze-ing homage to blockbuster Angry Birds game
HALF a million seeds have been used to create a tribute to one of the world's most popular games at Tulleys Farm.
Angry Birds, which has been purchased more than 12 million times and includes David Cameron among its fans, involves firing the eponymous birds at forts to oust villainous pigs.
Up to 30,000 visitors are expected to walk through the maze, the 15th grown since the idea started in 1998. The design features one of the main characters from the game travelling through the air.
Tulleys owner and Angry Birds fan Stuart Beare said this year's design was influenced by his children's enthusiasm for the game.
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"All three of my children play the game and love it and, if I'm honest, so do I," Mr Beare said.
"We e-mailed the Angry Birds team, who were great about it. They had no problem with us using it, they only have copyright issues with merchandise rip-offs. But this is a tribute and it is the first Angry Birds maze in the world."
The design was created by US firm Maize Quest, which has lent its expertise to 100 maze projects across America.
Despite the attraction's popularity, recent poor weather delayed its opening by two weeks to July 21, meaning visitors have less time to visit the maze before it closes on September 9.
Lifelong farmer Mr Beare added: "If we had weather like we have at the moment, the maze would be about six foot tall.
"The crops have had enough moisture but they need sun to grow. Last year was the opposite; we had too much sun and not enough rain beforehand.
"We are still working on it but at the moment the maze is about knee height. Come mid-August it will be as tall as it should be, about eight foot."
He added that the current maze ranked alongside his two other favourites – a castle in 2000 and a tiger in 2003.
The process of growing the detailed maze started in March this year when ideas where submitted to Maize Quest.
Once a design was finalised, workers marked out the design with GPS, using spray paint to outline the bird and letters that spell "Angry Birds".
Six members of staff at Tulleys prepared the eight-acre site by renovating it and making it smooth enough to plant hundreds of thousands of seeds around 3.5 miles of paths.
Then it was out of their hands as the weather played its part.
Impressed with the results was Susie Baker, 41, from Haywards Heath, who visited the site last week.
She said: "My daughter and her friend are 13 now and probably a bit too old for it but they seemed to really enjoy it, which gave me time to read my book."