New five-acre maize maze shaped as a pumpkin opens at farm

Victoria and Henry Cushing with daughter Matilda at the new maize maze at The Pumpkin House. 

Victoria and Henry Cushing with daughter Matilda at the new maize maze at The Pumpkin House. - Credit: Sonya Duncan

The Pumpkin House attracts hundreds to a Norfolk farm every Halloween, with its new summer venture also set to a-maze families. 

A five-acre maize maze has just opened at Brookhill Farm in Thursford and it is open every Wednesday to Sunday until September 4 from 10am until 4pm.

Matilda Cushing in the new pumpkin-shaped maize maze. 

Matilda Cushing in the new pumpkin-shaped maize maze. - Credit: Sonya Duncan

It is in the shape of its popular Pumpkin House, which offers a unique pick-your-own experience every October that has run for the last five years.

Farm owners and husband-and-wife duo Henry and Victoria Cushing created the maize maze themselves starting on graph paper and then using a ride-on mower. 

It has grown to seven-foot tall in some places and their children Matilda and Edward have enjoyed testing it out. 

Matilda Cushing in the hay bale towers that children can enjoy at the farm. 

Matilda Cushing in the hay bale towers that children can enjoy at the farm. - Credit: Sonya Duncan

Mrs Cushing said: "We decided to do something in the summer as we sorted out the parking and have some new infrastructure, including a pop-up café in a repurposed candyfloss trailer.

"We wanted to take advantage of the rise in staycations and the demand for summer activities continues to grow in Norfolk." 

Victoria and Henry Cushing with daughter Matilda in the new five-acre maize maze. 

Victoria and Henry Cushing with daughter Matilda in the new five-acre maize maze. - Credit: Sonya Duncan

There are also hay bale towers for children to climb, a musical organ and the café serves hot and cold drinks and local Dann's Ice Cream. 

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The pair had attempted to grow a pick-your-own sunflower field but had issues with rooks and hares so are hoping to try again in 2023. 

The maize maze is the couple's latest diversification idea for the farm, which has pigs and grows wheat, barley and sugar beat. 

Victoria Cushing in her Pumpkin House at Thursford where you can choose a pumpkin. Picture: DENISE

The Pumpkin House is returning with even more varieties in 2022. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

The Pumpkin House itself is returning with even more varieties in 2022 and there will be pick-you-own Christmas trees in December for the second year. 

Mrs Cushing added: "Diversification is hugely important, especially with Covid and single farm payments [EU subsidies which are being phased out after Brexit] reducing year-on-year so you need to find other income streams.

Matilda Cushing enjoying the hay bale towers at the farm. 

Matilda Cushing enjoying the hay bale towers at the farm. - Credit: Sonya Duncan

"There is a place for theme parks but also for old time countryside family fun and a lot of children do not get to go farms."

Tickets cost £6 for adults, £4 for children (4-16) with under 4s free by cash or card payable when you get there and parking is free.