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In Video: Purple patchwork of crops seen from above

Echium and borage have added a colourful tint to fields in Essex.

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Fields of echium and borage in full flower near Thaxted in Essex (Joe Giddens/PA)

Fields of echium and borage in full flower near Thaxted in Essex (Joe Giddens/PA)

Fields of echium and borage in full flower near Thaxted in Essex (Joe Giddens/PA)

Fields of echium and borage in full flower have turned parts of Essex into a patchwork of purple and green.

Fairking Ltd has been growing the two herbal plants for more than 30 years near the town of Thaxted.

The firm now farms more than 6,000 acres, with the flowers harvested for their seed, which is turned into an oil.

It is used in cosmetics and foods, as well as in products to treat high blood pressure, high cholesterol, rheumatoid arthritis and skin conditions such as eczema.

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Fairking Ltd co-director Andrew Fairs inspects a crop of echium (Joe Giddens/PA)

Fairking Ltd co-director Andrew Fairs inspects a crop of echium (Joe Giddens/PA)

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Fairking Ltd co-director Andrew Fairs inspects a crop of echium (Joe Giddens/PA)

The success of the crop relies solely on the natural pollinators in the area, including bees, hoverflies and butterflies.

PA