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Last Updated: Thursday, 10 July, 2003, 06:41 GMT 07:41 UK
Maize maze challenges record
The maize maze
The maze has been created in the shape of a lobster
The creators of the world's largest maize maze have unveiled their latest attempt to remain record-breakers.

The new maze at Stewarts Gardenlands in Christchurch, Dorset, is 15% bigger than last year and covers nearly nine miles of pathway.

It has been grown from 1.5 million seedlings, planted in April 2003, and shaped by pulling out 300,000 plants by hand to create the paths.

Owners of the maze, which opened to the public on Thursday, now hope to be recognised as record-breakers by Guinness World Records for the second year running.

Covering just under 18 acres in total, the maze's lobster design acknowledges the site's close proximity to the sea and Mudeford Quay, a busy fishing centre for the area.

Amazing facts
The maze covers an overall area of just under 18 acres
There are nine miles of pathway
It took six weeks to create
It took four months to grow from seed to eight-foot high
Its creators sowed 1.5 million seeds before pulling out 300,000 plants
Designed to be harder than their first maze, Stewarts have again created the puzzle in three sections - from silver being the easiest to platinum, which managing director Martin Stewart dubs as "almost impossible".

Mr Stewart said: "Everyone loved the maze last year, both young and old, so we were determined to make it bigger and better for 2003.

"There is a staggering amount of work in creating the maze - each path has to be harrowed up to three times and all the pathways were plotted by hand this year, not by GPS, so it has been backbreaking.

"We're very pleased with the result, however, and we hope it will be as popular as in 2002."

The maze, created by a team from Adrian Fisher Maze Design, will only survive for its natural life until the first frost of winter and will be harvested for cattle feed in October 2003.



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