A MAGNIFICENT field of sunflowers is currently in bloom at Ashwoods, Enniskillen to raise money for charity.

The beautiful, bright flowers have proven a huge attraction for local families, with the blooms serving as a fitting tribute to a popular local farmer.

Esdille Lappin is hosting the charity sunflower field on her and her husband Jimmy’s vegetable farm.

The sunflower field in aid of the Northern Ireland Air Ambulance (NIAA) is raising funds in memory of Esdille’s late brother, Raymond Mavitty of Culkey, Enniskillen, who sadly died in December, 2020.

The NIAA was chosen by Esdille as a charity to support due to the work it does within the county. She said: “In Fermanagh, we are in the remote west and we need the air ambulance.”

Esdille felt it was important to do something in tribute to Raymond. His death and funeral occurred during the height of lockdown restrictions, which limited attendance at his funeral.

Esdille said: “Funerals were very difficult and strange. It was not a proper country funeral, with only 25 people, so I wanted to do something for Raymond.”

SEE MORE: Shock at the death of Fermanagh farmer, Raymond MaVitty

The sunflower field is one of the fields used by Esdille’s husband, Jimmy, on their popular vegetable farm on the Sligo Road.

She said: “We usually grow vegetables in the field, but Jimmy offered it up for the sunflowers. It is proving to be a popular attraction for the families.

“It will definitely be running over the weekend and into next week, if the weather allows.”

Esdille is also a nature lover and is pleased with how well bees in the local area have taken to the sunflower field.

“The sunflowers that are not sold will keep well for the bees, and when they turn to seed, the birds will be able to live off the seed, which will be very good.”

NIAA Area Fundraising Manager, Damien McAnespie, said: “We are delighted to have Esdille and Jimmy support the charity service via their sunflower appeal.

“Working in partnership with the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service, our helicopter emergency medical service is tasked on average on two occasions every single day, bringing emergency pre-hospital care directly to the patient with the aim of saving a life, brain or limb.

“At a cost of £2 million a year, we sincerely appreciate the fundraising efforts of Esdille and Jimmy, and would ask for visitors to their farm to give what they can.”

The sunflower field at Lappin’s Vegetable Field, No. 221, Sligo Road, Enniskillen, is currently open from 10am to 6pm.