Giant grass moustache highlights men’s health

A 40m-wide grass moustache has been grown in Somerset in support of one of the UK’s biggest annual charity campaigns.

British Seed Houses (BSH) grew the giant moustache as a tribute to Movember – a month-long sponsored moustache-growing competition that raises awareness and money for men’s prostate and testicular health.

The grass “mo” was grown for BSH by the company’s agricultural sales manager for southern England, Andrew Cook, on his own farm near Wedmore in north Somerset. It is a high-sugar mo comprising mainly Aber HSG perennial ryegrasses.


The idea was the brainchild of John Gilbert (pictured above right), chairman of Germinal Holdings. His son William Gilbert – MD of subsidiary company BSH, pictured above left – is championing Movember and has already donated £1,000 from BSH to kick-start the fundraising for this year’s campaign.

Organisers at Movember liked the pictures so much they’re going to use them in their own nationwide promotions, but BSH also has plans to use the field-scale moustache to raise the profile of Movember within the farming industry.


BSH is offering an all-expenses-paid trip for two to New York for the best Movember effort from within the farming community.

The company is also encouraging the younger generation to get involved in a separate challenge for Young Farmers’ Clubs. There’s a cash prize of £500 for the club that comes forward with the best interpretation of the Movember challenge.

Email pictures to or tweet them to @aberforage to enter. More information at

“My father and I visit our business in New Zealand regularly and have noticed the Movember moustache-growing phenomenon increase in NZ and Australia over the past 10 years,” said William Gilbert.“There is undoubtedly greater awareness of men’s health issues there as a result – not least among their farmers.

“Movember is established in the UK, too, but there is always more that can be done to push these important messages. We hope our grass mo will help bring the message home to more farmers and the wider agri-trade. More moustaches around the markets could be fun to see, but what would be better is greater awareness of symptoms, quicker action and fewer long-term health issues as a result.”

About Movember

Clean-shaven participants sign up at the start of the month when they pledge to grow and groom a moustache for the whole of November. Throughout the month, generous friends, family and colleagues sponsor them for their mo-growing efforts.

On 30 November, participants celebrate their journey by throwing a Movember party, before finally shaving their top lip.

Last year, moustache growers around the world raised nearly £80m for causes related to prostate and testicular health.

More on this topic

Keep up with all the latest Rural Living news

Rachel Jones on G+

See more