Haylage bales look pretty in pink on North Tyneside farm

The pink haylage bales from Holywell Farms Ltd.

The pink haylage bales from Holywell Farms Ltd.

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A North Tyneside farm has found a colourful way to raise money and awareness for cancer and it’s even visible from the air.

For the first time last year, Holywell Farms produced a number of pink haylage bales to raise awareness of breast cancer and funds for the nearby treatment unit.

And it was such a success that Shaun and Laura Watson are planning to do the same again this year.

Laura said that the idea originated in New Zealand about eight or nine years ago before the manufacturer of the wrap, Volac, brought it to the UK.

“We saw it and thought it would be a good thing to be a part of,” she said.

Volac donates £3 from every roll purchased to Breast Cancer Now and Holywell Farms also decided to donate £1 from every bale sold to the Oncology Day Unit at North Tyneside General Hospital.

“The pink is specifically to raise awareness of breast cancer, but we thought that as the oncology department covers every type of cancer, they could use the funding wherever they needed it,” Laura said.

Last year, Holywell Farms produced and sold 400 pink bales, collecting £400 for the unit, and the same amount of pink wrap has been bought this year with the aim of selling and raising a similar amount.

The haylage bales are just starting to be produced now and will then be sold to be used as horse feed over the winter.

And the Watsons are hoping that the initiative proves as popular as it did last year when the colour change caused quite a stir.

Laura said: “People were keen to get involved; the pink looks a bit nicer than the green or black and the girls like the look of it.

“When we spread the message about what it was for, people wanted it more and they were ordering them specifically.

“We have had people coming back from holiday and saying, ‘We saw them’, because they are on the flight path to Newcastle Airport.

“We have two little girls and their friends think Shaun is a marshmallow farmer!”

One of the bales was even used as a pig at the local village scarecrow show.

Holywell Farms, based near Earsdon, is family-run and the family has been farming in Whitley Bay for more than 175 years.

For more information, visit www.holywellfarms.co.uk or call 0191 253 0149.