Conkers. If you’re like me, then you’ll know about the buzz that you get when you find a large, brown, shiny conker without any damage to it. Result!

It’s part of our end-of-Summer ritual to go conker hunting in our preferred location. (I won’t tell you where it is. Any keen conker hunter knows never to give away their patches.) Usually, the last weekend in August is when they start to fall, but we went a week later this year due to bad weather.

We combine the hunt with a walk through the forest, so it’s a great day from start to finish. You’re fooling the kids into getting fresh air into their lungs and getting some exercise without them even realising it. And it’s free. Plus, the trees look incredible at this time of year.

We know where to look. We have a mental map of the Horse Chestnut trees in our chosen area. The route took us by some plump, ripe brambles, so they got picked.

Eve’s going through a phase of wanting us to throw sticks so she can fetch them like a dog. I’m cool with that as long as she doesn’t bring them back in her mouth. Or try and mark her territory.


We did well. Two bags of conkers. Most of them were still in their shells. Hint – don’t peel them. Keep them in the bag and, in a week or two, they’ll fall off themselves to reveal shiny brown perfect conkers.

One resident wasn’t particularly welcoming to us. We were all under a large Horse Chestnut when we heard a *thud* nearby. It was a huge conker, but with a bit gouged out. Squirrels. They have a chew on them then throw them down. A couple more large shells whizzed by at speed and with force, so we swiftly moved on.

So, now we’ve got them, what to do with them?

I planted two a couple of years back and they’ve started growing. They’re currently in a planter, so I’ll need to move them out so they can start to flourish. Then I can grow my own conkers. Bliss.

The girls want to make conker caterpillars with some, which is cool. Then, there’s the good old violent savagery of the game of conkers. I’ve got the dremel and vice ready to drill holes. Provided I don’t lose a finger, then it’ll be all go.


It’s a great thing to do, as you may well already know. Get on it, then post your haul. I want to see how you do!

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