Locals of Burton Latimer, Northamptonshire, have been left baffled after a series of 2m signs were erected, welcoming them to a new county named “Weetabixshire”.
The stunt, which was orchestrated by the makers of breakfast cereal Weetabix, celebrates all the farmers and growers who supply the Weetabix mill, which sources all of its wheat from within a 50-mile radius.
The brand is now lobbying to have this 50-mile radius around the Weetabix mills formally recognised as a county in its own right – named Weetabixshire.
A change.org petition has been started, and has so far gained hundreds of signatories.
One supporter, Leanne Knighton, said she had signed the petition because the brand would “Prolly fill the potholes with Weetabix”, while others had more self-serving interests, lodging their support in the hopes of “free Weetabix” in return.
Lorraine Rothwell, head of brand at Weetabix, said: “We’re proud to say our sourcing is local and facilitated by our network of incredible farmers, who are the backbone of Weetabix, so we wanted to show it off.”
“Keeping our sourcing local means we can support the farming community right here in Northamptonshire, working directly with growers who share our passion for delivering the very best wheat in the most sustainable way.
“Not to mention, sourcing our hero ingredient so close to home cuts down on our own food miles.”
The Weetabix mill employs 1,100 local workers, who make 11m Weetabix biscuits each day (almost 8,000 per minute).
Local Weetabix farmer Jim Beaty said: “My farm is less than a mile from the Weetabix mills and I can smell the bix being made every morning, so seeing all these people come down to the local area in support of Weetabixshire fills me with such pride.
“It shows how much the community values us for the job we do on a daily basis.”