By Ivor Traktor, Farming Correspondent (intern)
Suffolk potato magnate Maurice Piper has diversified into a profitable new sideline – cooling off cheapskate holidaymakers with his giant irrigation system.
Mr Piper, whose family have farmed potatoes at Bungay since King Edward was on the throne, charges visitors £1 a go to be drenched in a field during the heatwave.
Hundreds of visitors, mindful of austerity and the need to be prudent, have shunned expensive traditional water parks to stand in a Suffolk potato field instead.
They park up in the farmyard, strip off to their underwear and then walk into the middle of a field so Mr Piper can turn on the irrigation to give them a thorough soaking.
Happy customer Bubba Spuckler, who was visiting Suffolk from his small holding in Downham Market, Norfolk, with his sister and their eight children, claimed it was a magical experience.
He said: “It was awesome. I paid only a pound to get absolutely soaked. It cooled me down beautifully and the kids loved it. Why would anyone pay a fortune to visit a water park?”
Mr Piper, 62, says he plans to franchise his idea to farms around Britain. “Us farmers need to squeeze every last drop of profit that we can. These are difficult times.”
However, the Suffolk Gazette understands health and safety officials are set to visit Mr Piper’s farm to assess if his scheme is legal. “We have concerns over visitors splashing about and having fun while surrounded by heavy moving equipment,” a spokesman said.
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