Nettle eating champions crowned as competitors race to eat the most stinging plants

Competitors take part in the World nettle eating contest
Competitors take part in the World Nettle Eating Championships - Getty Images Europe/Finnbarr Webster

The World Nettle Eating Championships saw a record number of participants chow down the stinging plant.

Dozens took part in the contest at the Dorset Nectar Cider Farm in Waytown, near Bridport on Saturday.

It saw 35 competitors attempt to eat as many stinging nettle leaves as they could in 30 minutes.

Participants strip the stinging leaves from the stalks and the empty stalks are counted at the end to determine the winner.

Jenny Carden and Phil Thorne
Jenny Carden and Phil Thorne make their way through nettles - Finnbarr Webster/Getty Images Europe
The contest, held at Dorset Nectar Cider Farm, began in the late 1980s when two farmers argued over who had the longest stinging nettles in their field
The contest, held at Dorset Nectar Cider Farm, began in the late 1980s when two farmers argued over who had the longest stinging nettles in their field - Getty Images Europe/Finnbarr Webster

They are then given cider to help wash down the nettles and relieve the pain.

Last year’s champion Philip Thorne, from Devon, returned to defend his title - but saw it snatched from him by Tom Wheeler, who ate 116 feet of nettles.

Last year’s women’s champion Bethan Hodges, from Barry Island, Wales, successfully defended her title and won again.