Plant-Lore

Collecting the folklore and uses of plants

Conker shortage

According to Metro and the Daily Star of 28 September 2018 Britain is experiencing a shortage of conkers (horsechestnut, Aesculus hippocastanum seeds) due to the dry summer.                                                                                    According to the former, bags of 50 nuts are being offered for £5.70 online, and the shortage has put the 2018 ‘World Conker Championships in Northamptonshire in doubt’.                                                                                      The report in the Star is more extensive, and, indeed, forms the main story on its front page, under the heading ‘Germany conkers Britain’.  Inside, on page 5, it explains: ‘Conkers may have to be imported from Germany after the summer heatwave left this year’s poor crop too tiny and shrivelled up for games.  Panicked enthusiasts at the World Conker Championships, held in the UK next month, fear the event could be ruined due to the weak batch of nuts.’  Hence the Championships organisers are considering importing conkers from Germany, meaning that 2018 ‘would be the first time in more than 40 years the event would be forced to use foreign horsechestnuts’.

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