Conker call for big championship

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The National Conker Championship is looming and, in a bid to avert another last-minute call-off, organisers are urging locals to start collecting.

Last year official organisers Borders Forest Trust (BFT) had to call off their event because of a lack of conkers due to the bad summer, though an unofficial competition went ahead after conkers were brought in from outside the area.

This year, the native woodlands charity hopes helpers will rally and start collecting the fruits of the region’s horse chestnuts for the popular Scottish Conker Championships on Saturday, October 19.

Event organiser, BFT’s Anna Craigen said: “This event is always heaps of fun, and people travel from near and far to take part. We hope to be able to gather some fantastic, top-quality Scottish conkers with a little help from our local friends, to make this year’s competition better than ever.”

Contributors should deliver their conkers to the BFT offices in Ancrum, where the team will prepare them for the championships on Tweed Green, Peebles, part of the Tweed Valley Forest Festival.

Competitors in the junior (7-11 years), youth (12-18 years) and adult (over 18 years) categories register between 11am and noon when they are given a pre-laced conker, ready for the contest.

A ‘rogue’ round follows, open to everyone with their own conker, treated in whatever way competitors like to make them indestructible, whether pickled, varnished or baked.

For more information on Borders Forest Trust, visit www.bordersforesttrust.org