Sweeping through this field of poppies, gardener Hannah Taylor enjoys a remarkable display of the flowers in a field in Dorset today.
The striking display of colour was on show at an estate owned by a Conservative MP Richard Drax who has given up his land to grow the flowers for the NHS.
And the hot dry spring, alongside the weekend downpour has resulted in the bumper blooming of the crop, which will now be turned into morphine.
Mr Drax’s estate is one of more than 30 sites across the country where the opium poppies, which are more commonly associated with Aghanistan, are now being grown.
A pharmaceutical company will then harvest the poppy heads in order to produce the pain-killing drugs.
Once the poppy heads are taken and dried the seed pods inside are processed and turned into morphine and codeine.
The process requires a degree of expertise which is why growers are confident the flowers will not be stolen by drug dealers looking to turn them into heroin.
A spokesman for pharmaceutical company MacFarlan Smith, whose parent company Johnson Matthey has the licence to grow the poppies, said: ‘We have been growing the poppies in the UK since 2003.
‘We have got a small number of sites, about 35, and we aren't looking to expand.
‘The poppies are grown for morphine production, for people in the UK who are in pain and suffering from cancer.’
The poppies are yet another example of bumper crops across the south of England at the moment.
Roses are another crop that are thriving in the unusual conditions, with horticulturalists comparing this season to 1976, when the UK experienced a scorching summer.
By Daily Mail Reporter
16th June 2011
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No this isn't Afghanistan: Stunning field of opium poppies that is actually in DORSET