The Maize Maze

The Ansty Maize Maze

This great local attraction started in 1999 and was one of the first Maize Mazes in the Country.  We were growing maize to feed our dairy cows and K announced that she thought it would be a great idea to pull some of it out to create a maize maze!  This had mixed responses with the rest of the family who were very dubious about pulling out some of the crop to make the pathways!  But we started in 1999 with a 2 acre pirate ship and over the years it got bigger and better and very popular.  But unfortunately due to the shop getting busier and the 2 small children now on the family team – lack of time has meant we have had to put the Maize Maze on hold for a few years!!

How we designed the mazes

All the mazes were hand drawn on old fashioned squared maths paper. In later years this was then transferred on to CAD’

If there was a large national or international event we tried to theme the maze around that: Olympics, Jubilee years, The Queens Birthday, etc.  The hardest maze we ever made was the Olympic Maze in 2004.

How we made the mazes

The very first year we made a large wooden square that was the correct size for one square on the maths paper!  Then 4 people held the massive wooden square in the field whilst one person pulled out the relevant unwanted crop.  The maze was 2 acres in size and took 6 weeks to make.

We then progressed into “the battleship” era, where the field was marked out with garden canes and fencing posts and we produced a grid system in the field.  It was then possible to pull out square B9 and D2 as we went.

The last few years were done with GPS and we were able to accurately mark out all the pathways with just one person in 14 hours making the 8 acre puzzle.

Some people get lost!

In the early days we sent people in with flags and we would go in and rescue them.  We used to have night parties in the maze where people tried the maze in the daylight, had a BBQ and then went back into solve it in the dark!  On one occasion one lady did get lost and we had to go in with torches and find her.  On another occasion a school party was just leaving and on their final head count discovered they were one down!

Some photos of past Maize Mazes!