5 of our best reasons to collect conkers this Autumn
You could grow a horse chestnut tree
- Place your best conkers in water, these will be the ones that sink and don’t float.
- Plant your conkers in 2cm of soil or compost.
- Water and place in a sheltered spot outdoors where they will be safe from predators and extreme frost.
- Water when necessary but be careful not to overwater
- The cold winter temperatures will encourage germination in spring.
- Water your horse chestnut as it grows and re-pot as it gets bigger.
- Your tree can now be planted elsewhere, ready to grow very large (always seek landowner’s permission)
You could get creative with paint and googly eyes
Experiment making faces, sculptures or whatever your young ones’ imaginations conjure up. Soaking the conkers in vinegar and baking in the oven will harden them ready for decoration.
You could enter the World Conker Championships
Yes, this is a real thing! Find out more here.
Conkers keep spiders at bay
Perhaps the most important reason for any arachnophobes. Spiders tend to creep into our houses in the autumn and many say that conkers are the cure for this. It’s a worth a try we think!
Endless opportunity for fun and games
Whether you’re playing catch, conker boules (with the help of some paint), or of course traditional conkers, these small shiny things can provide hours of entertainment whether you’re out walking in the city or countryside, or simply playing at home.
- Start by finding a firm and symmetrical conker.
- The conkers must then be drilled and threaded with string (if you want a real winner use the vinegar and bake trick mentioned before).
- Each player must wrap the string around their hand with the conker hanging down towards the ground.
- Players then take turns to hit each other’s conker as hard as they can
- The winning conker is the one that does not smash first, and is crowned a ‘one-er’. Win twice with the same conker and it will become a ‘two-er’ and so on.
Conker photo by @georgeiermann
Nature trail photo Philli Thorne