Essex

In pictures: The Tiptree Strawberry Race

Image copyright Thomas Magill

More than 200 contestants from as far afield as Spain and Romania gathered in the Essex village of Tiptree earlier for its annual strawberry race, in which participants gather up as much fruit as possible within 60 minutes.

Image copyright Thomas Magill

Each row of strawberries is about 450ft (150m) long and nobody so far in the event's history has yet managed to clear an entire row of strawberries within an hour.

Image copyright Thomas Magill

Organisers of the race say there are three types of contestants. First are the "caravanners", most of whom are retired people who visit from elsewhere in the UK and some of whom dress up for the occasion. Second are the locals, who live in the area. Third are the "internationals" who are usually seasonal workers staying at the international farm camp in Tiptree.

Image copyright Thomas Magill

The crop picked by contestants is the little scarlet strawberry. The little scarlet is a tiny, intensely-flavoured strawberry that is made into the famous Wilkin and Sons Little Scarlet Conserve. Tiptree is the only location in the world where it is grown commercially.

Image copyright Thomas Magill

Anton Thurgood, farm commercial manager from Wilkin & Son, which runs the race, said the money raised will go to charity. "The fruit these teams picked will go into the factory."

Image copyright Thomas Magill

A new collection record was set today of just over 18lbs (8.2kg).

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