The height of the conker season is approaching weeks earlier than usual with predictions of a bumper crop which is said to have been caused by a mild spring followed by a hot but damp summer. Conkers usually only start to fall from trees in late September but this year they have already started falling a full month early and long before the season usually starts.
So it wont be long before the usual warnings about the dangers of both gathering & playing conkers will be making the pages of the press along with the stories of it been band by various schools on the grounds of safety. There was one story in 2006 about a headteacher who is allowing his pupils to play conkers only while supervised and wearing protective goggles whereas other schools had banned it altogether. In 2010 council officials in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, were being accused of being “excessive health and safety zealots” after posting notices to horsechestnut trees telling passers-by to beware of falling conkers, the notice read "BEWARE Falling Conkers" and advises walkers to "proceed with care".
The Common Horse Chestnut "aesculus hippocastanum" is not native to Britain. It originates from the Balkans, it was first introduced to Britain in the 1600s as an ornamental tree in Elizabethan gardens. The seeds of the horse chestnut are toxic to humans and animals but fatalities are extremely rare.
The 2011 World Conker Championships will be held at New Lodge Fields, near Oundle, Northamptonshire on 9th October 2011. The event starts at 10:30 a.m. and finishes at 3:00 p.m.
Link to the World Conker Championships 2011;
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