Hundreds of Londoners set for Hampstead Heath conker championships
Hundreds of Londoners will gather on Hampstead Heath’s Parliament Hill this Sunday [6 October] to battle it out in the UK’s largest annual conker championships.
In 2011, the Hampstead Heath Conker Championships broke the Guinness World Record for the biggest ever knockout conker tournament with numbers reaching 395 people.
The free autumn event, in its 18th year running, is officiated by the “Conkermeister”.
Participants are divided into five categories; under 5s, 5-7 years, 8-13 years, 14-17 years, 18s and over. Contestants who wish to battle it out for the winning title can register at the Parliament Hill Bandstand by 2.30pm to take part. Conkers will be provided on the day.
The winner for each category will receive the coveted Golden Conker and a certificate to commemorate their victory.
Hampstead Heath is one of London's most popular open spaces, situated just six kilometres from Trafalgar Square. It receives over nine million visits a year. The City of London Corporation, which is a major green spaces provider in the capital, has been the custodian of the site since 1989.
Karina Dostalova, Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Hampstead Heath Management Committee, said:
“We are officially in Autumn and that can only mean one thing – Hampstead Heath Conker Championships.
“This is a fantastic annual event and a great British pastime, which has been enjoyed for generations and makes for a great family day out in one of London’s finest green spaces.
“This contest draws people of all ages to the Heath and as ever, the competition remains fierce and open to everyone”.
Hampstead Heath is a registered charity, receiving over £5m of funding from the City Corporation every year, along with revenue generated though services, various grants and donations.
The City Corporation protects and conserves 11,000 acres of green space in London and south east England – including Epping Forest and Burnham Beeches - and over 200 smaller ones in the Square Mile. They are funded by over £29million a year from the City Corporation and including important wildlife habitats, sites of Special Scientific Interest and National Nature Reserves. They are protected from being built on by special legislation.