York Maze theme revealed: A phizz-wizzing tribute to Roald Dahl, the size of eight football pitches

IMAGES of Roald Dahl's much-loved characters have been carved into a field of maize plants to celebrate 100 years since the children's author was born.

Farmer Tom Pearcy with Julia Dawn Cole from the original Willy Wonka film, where she played Veruca Salt. Picture: Anthony Chappel-Ross

Farmer and Dahl fan Tom Pearcy created the design, which features a depiction of Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka from the 1971 film version of the author’s 1964 book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, at York Maze.

Actress Julie Dawn Cole, who at the age of 12 played Veruca Salt alongside Wilder in the adaptation, took a helicopter flight over the 15-acre design to officially launch maze today.

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She said: “It’s an amazing site, to soar above the maze and see the detail that has gone into the design. They have captured Gene Wilder’s Willy Wonka image very well.

Farmer Tom Pearcy with Julia Dawn Cole from the original Willy Wonka film, where she played Veruca Salt. Picture: Anthony Chappel-Ross

“It is such a bonkers thing, it’s almost something that Willy Wonka could have dreamed up himself. Veruca would no doubt be demanding one of her own. I think Roald Dahl would have been amazed to see it.”

The maze also features other characters from Dahl’s book hidden throughout, including, the BFG, Fantastic Mr Fox and the Enormous Crocodile.

Mr Pearcy said: “Roald Dahl’s stories speak to the child in us all and are loved by children, parents and grandparents. Throughout 2016, there will be celebrations for Roald Dahl 100 around the UK but I wanted to pay my own special phizz-whizzing tribute to the amazing storyteller.”

Previous themes for the maze have included Thunderbirds and famous Yorkshiremen,

This year's York Maize Maze design, which follows a Roald Dahl theme, marking his centenary. Picture: Anthony Chappel-Ross

The York Maze opens to visitors from tomorrow to Monday September 5, when the maize will be harvested and fed to the cows.

Farmer Tom Pearcy with Julia Dawn Cole from the original Willy Wonka film, where she played Veruca Salt. Picture: Anthony Chappel-Ross
This year's York Maize Maze design, which follows a Roald Dahl theme, marking his centenary. Picture: Anthony Chappel-Ross