Cornwall's own sunflower fields have been ploughed in true style, ready for the second crop.

Artisan cooking oil producer Hard Pressed Cornwall and St Erme farmer Nick Dymond will see another 18 acres of sunflower grown this year, after a successful first year in which 3000 litres of sunflower oil from the seeds harvested were sold.

Preparing the ground for this year’s sunflower seeds to be sown, Alfie Trethewey and Bryony Gill from St Austell-based Pikna Shire Horses put Angel and Bravelad, one of their two working pairs of shires, through their paces to plough the field.

Nick said: “We’ve focussed on growing and creating a quality product but also minimising the environmental impact of our practices.

"Interestingly, horses plough at a depth of four to five inches which buries the residue of the previous crop well.

"Nowadays it is common to plough at more than double that depth, which can damage the soil.

“Deep ploughing can bury the topsoil and pull up sub soil which is less conducive to germination.

"Also, in bringing that subbase level soil to the surface it is inverting the soil structure which negatively effects the soil’s ability to drain in wet conditions.

“Shallow ploughing ensures a much lower loss of humus, the organic matter that is one of the most important soil components that holds moisture and sequesters CO2 from the atmosphere and returns it to the ground.

"It also displaces far less worms, the benefits of which are well known.”

More than 2000 people enjoyed visiting the field at St Erme to walk around and soak up the impressive display of 300,000 sunflowers in full bloom during August.

The event raised more than £4,500 towards supporting the work of Sowenna, Cornwall’s mental health treatment facility for young people.

Jack Baines from Hard Pressed Cornwall said: “We are so pleased that this joint venture has been such a success and produced some superb Cornish sunflower oil that is selling very well.

“By opening the field up to visitors, it gave so many something to smile about at a difficult time whilst raising funds for a great cause.

"We can’t wait to do it all over again this summer and we’ll release details of tickets for the sunflower field opening soon.”