Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall goes monkey puzzle nuts at Bicton College

TV cook Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has been climbing monkey puzzle trees at Bicton College in Devon as part of his new series River Cottage Veg.

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall harvesting nuts at Bicton College - image: Bicton College
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall harvesting nuts at Bicton College - image: Bicton College
He harvests nuts for the series with the help of Nobby Clarke, arboriculture lecturer at Bicton College.

Fearnley-Whittingstall and his production team spent a day filming in the monkey puzzle avenue at Bicton College in August. Clarke helped him in his attempt to climb the trees with a rope and harness, but the seed could not be reached, so they had to resort to other methods.

The cook said:

"I had the most brilliant day at Bicton, among the Monkey Puzzle trees.  Nobby was an extremely generous and knowledgeable host, who had a number of amusing and challenging ideas about how we might actually acquire some nuts from the tops of these stunning and ancient trees.

"Suffice it to say that we got there in the end – and it was worth all the trouble – they were delicious. So much so that I’ve now planted five monkey puzzles at River Cottage HQ – for future generations to enjoy."

The sequence of gathering and cooking monkey puzzle nuts will be shown on Channel 4 on 23 October at 8pm.


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