I’ve seen some pretty silly stuff by now, but entering a competition to eat as many stinging nettles as possible within an hour really takes the biscuit. Unfortunately for the contestants Hob Nobs and Rich Teas were not on the menu.
It will be no surprise to learn that this event takes place at a pub, The Bottle Inn, in Marshwood, Dorset. Its origins lie in an argument between two farmers about who had the tallest nettles on his land, which led to a competition. Three years on, Alex Williams, a local man, swore that if anyone could find a nettle longer than his (15ft 6in), he would eat it. A holidaying couple found a 16ft one and he kept his word.
Around 50 challengers from all over Europe come to take part, and are encouraged to eat more nettles than the current champion. Contestants are given 2ft long stalks of stinging nettles and have one hour to eat as many leaves as possible. The winner is the person with the most lengths of empty stalk.