An unused conker from the first ever Scottish Conker Championships has been planted in the garden of the Park Hotel in Peebles. Ten years ago the first Scottish Conker Championships were held as part of the Tweed Valley Forest Festival. The ‘art of conquering’ on Tweed Green in Peebles has run ever since with categories for Junior, Youth, Adult and Rogue closely fought for.
Strung conquers are allocated to all the contestants with only the Rogue category allowing participants to use their own conker which may have been strengthened by soaking in vinegar, heating in an oven or covering in varnish!
One left over seed was planted in a pot by Treefest Co-ordinator Chris Sawers who commented “I can never resist growing seeds whatever the size and this has flourished into a 10 foot tall tree. It needed to be rooted in the ground and I looked for a local public site to plant it.” She approached Sandra Dawson, Marketing Manager at Crieff Hydro Ltd, the new owners of the Hydro and Park Hotels and was offered a fantastic space where the tree can grow into maturity.
Staffing the Championships is managed by Borders Forest Trust, an acclaimed organisation pioneering in woodland restoration. Their Director, Dr Jane Rosegrant said “Each year BFT is delighted to organise the Scottish Conker Championships. Time after time we are amazed and thrilled at the energy and enthusiasm people bring on the day, from novices to seasoned campaigners. The children have a fantastic time, though it has to be said that the adults are at least as keen! Next year’s Conker Championships will be on Saturday 21 October, come along and have a go.”