THERE MAY have been a shortage of sun to make hay this soggy Saddleworth summer… but the gloom has been lifted by an unlikely splash of colour across many farmers’ fields.
Traditional seasonal haylage bales, usually wrapped in black or green plastic, have appeared in vivid pink protective covering.
More though than brightening up the landscape, the distinctive bales are helping raise awareness and funds for breast cancer charities as part of a nationwide campaign now in its second year.
These photographs show bales in fields at Higher Quick Farm, Lydgate but other locations at Scouthead, Dobcross and Strinesdale have become as equally eye-catching.
John Lancashire is director of Lancashire Agricultural Contractors Ltd whose business provides round bales for Lancashire and West Yorkshire farms and whose grandparents own Higher Quick Farm on Stockport Road.
“Lancashire Ag decided to use the pink bale wrap for one main reason – to do our bit in supporting cancer research”, explained John who lives at Round Hill Farm, Dobcross.
“The rolls cost about £50 and £3 per roll of wrap goes to charity. It is a simple way for the business to support research into a disease that remains too prevalent and too common in many of our lives.
“I thought there might have been a few objections because of the brightness. But it’s been quite the opposite.
“I must have had around 20 people asking what the bales are all about but generally commenting how much they like it.
“Even though it’s different I am actually impressed with the product and would certainly consider using it again next year.”
And what happens to the haylage bales once unwrapped?
“They will be fed to the dairy herd to produce local milk for consumers and cafes under the ‘saddleworthmilk.com‘ brand,” added John.
“Some of the haylage pictured is also sold to the equine industry, be it larger commercial equine yards or your typical domestic stable yards.”