Lavender fields are forever

For the second weekend running English Hampshire Lavender near Selborne is inviting visitors to a Lavender Experience.

Last weekend, more than 600 people enjoyed strolling through the 24 acres of fragrant fields where Tim and Anne Butler grow eight varieties for use as dried lavender, as bunches and in oils.

Cream teas in a marquee in the farmhouse garden with lavender biscuits and cupcakes, a shop selling hand and body care products, tractor rides and a chance to learn about oil distillation will all be on offer over both days.

Deborah McCallum of English Lavender, said: "This is the fourth year we have done this. We are the only lavender grown in the area so it's a lovely opportunity."

The Butlers began growing lavender in 2001 when the beer market started to affect their traditional business growing hops. The well-drained soil and sunny aspect of the farm meant that the land was ideally suited to lavender, and even the recent heavy rain has done no serious damage or affected plans to start harvesting on July 22.

The open days at Hartley Park Farm, Selborne Road, Alton, are this Saturday and Sunday, 11am – 4pm. Entrance costs £2 with £1 going to the charity, CRY, Cardiac Risk in the Young.

For more information, call 01420 511 146 or visit