The Daily Telegraph

Bumper acorn crop at Blenheim


A gardener at the Blenheim Palace estate, where Winston Churchill was born, has the herculean task of picking up thousands of acorns as Britain groans under the weight of the best “crop” in years.

Robert Burgess, 55, who has worked with the estate’s forestry team for 16 years, will be joined by three colleagues to pick up an estimated 35,000 acorns. Blenheim has an impressive collection of oaks, the biggest in Europe, and the oldest of them goes back 1,049 years.

Six years ago, gardeners started to grow saplings from acorns on the 2,000-acre estate to avoid having to import them – and thus reduce its carbon footprint.

The nuts will be checked over the next fortnight for weevils or signs of rot. Those selected will be germinated in trays before being put in compost and grown in polytunnel­s. The saplings will be planted out in autumn.*

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