A PUMPKIN picking patch has been created in Fordingbridge – on land that was empty five months ago.

Sowing 40,000 pumpkin seeds on the 16-acre site, with 32 varieties of pumpkins available, Niall Smith and Suzanne Hennekens have been putting their knowledge of the colourful gourd to the test as they set out to create a rich tapestry of colour in fields in Bickton.

Opening later this month, the pair’s Pumpkin Picking Patch will offer families a chance to make wands, flying broomsticks, create their own spider web and enjoy the fields.

And they’ve created it in the most environmentally way possible, they claim.

This has included sourcing wood locally – for making magic wands and brooms, as well as adopting a no plastic policy.

Niall said: “This is a great space for children to get away from computer screens and enjoy the countryside, creating their own adventures on the patch, in the house made of pumpkins or just cost effective family friendly fun picking the fruits ”.

Creative chef’s or charities that provide cooked nutritious meals for the homeless or other groups are also being sort, as the couple, conscious that not all gourds will be picked by the end of the month, will need a good home to go to and urge them to get in touch about this wonderful cooking ingredient.

Two open days will run on October 12 and 13, before the patch opens daily from October 18.