'Extreme weather threatens our petal farm'

Charles Hudson
Landowner Charles Hudson says the business only just managed to plant enough flowers to open fields to the public [BBC]

The landowner of a flower confetti company said extreme weather could jeopardise the future of the business.

The Real Flower Petal Confetti Company, in Wick, Worcestershire, produces confetti and opens its flower fields to the public.

However, heavy rain over the winter and spring flooded fields and affected planting.

"I've farmed here for nearly 50 years now, and I've never experienced a winter that has been so wet," said Charles Hudson.

 flower field
Wet weather in the winter and spring left fields waterlogged and flooded [BBC]

"Right the way through January, February, March, April, we were waterlogged and flooded and sodden," he told BBC Hereford and Worcester.

According to the Met Office, which provides weather forecasting and climate science, the winter of 2023/2024 was the eighth wettest on record in the UK.

In March, the UK had 107.8mm of rain compared with the average of 84.9mm, ranking in the top 20% of wettest Marches.

April saw 111.4mm of rain, compared to the average of 71.9mm. It was the sixth wettest April of the last 189 years.

As a result, the farm, which has previously supplied petals for King Charles and Queen Camilla's wedding, lost 50% of its crops.

"We had severe concerns that we were not going to be able to get enough petals to harvest this year and to have a field to show to the public," said Mr Hudson.

However, staff managed to get enough flowers planted to open the fields to the public for its 10 day open flower field event.

"There's been compensatory growth, and I think there's a spectacle now to see," he said.

The farm is expecting more than 20,000 visitors across the 10 days.

But, Mr Hudson said more extreme weather puts the farm's future at risk.

"This experience over the last winter has shown that, suddenly, you can lose 50% of your crops," he said.

"We have only just scraped through this year, with being able to provide a flower field for people to come and look at."

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