Giant fungi and dinosaur footprints: Five world records with a Dorset link

FROM dinosaur footprints to giant pumpkins, Dorset has its fair share of record holders – but they might not be what you expect.

Because far from the usual feats such as world-leading sporting efforts, the county boasts some more unusual efforts that still lead the world.

Here are five records you might not know have a link to Dorset:

Dorset's Giant Button

Dorset’s Giant Button

The world’s largest button

In early 2020, amid the onset of the Covid pandemic, the Women’s Institute in Wool decided to take on the challenge of creating the world’s largest button.

A team of six (Tess Burt, Kath Burt, Sandra Housego, Virginia McDermid, Sarah Gardiner and Isabell van Millingen), with an average age of 71, set about the task.

Planning took four to six weeks, while actual construction took another eight.

And in July 2020, it was confirmed the group’s 2.202m (7ft 2.69in) Dorset button was indeed the world’s largest.

It can still be seen on display in the village.

Chicken of the Woods

Chicken of the Woods

The world’s heaviest edible fungi

Hungry? Well, you might fancy tucking into the heaviest edible fungi ever discovered, discovered by a walker from Broadstone.

Giovanni Paba found the edible ‘chicken of the woods’ mushroom (Laetiporus sulphureus) in the New Forest, Hampshire, in October 1990.

It weighed in at a whopping 45.35kg (100 lb).

Mark Baggs Giant Pumpkin

Mark Baggs Giant Pumpkin

The world’s heaviest field pumpkin

On the subject of heavy foods, Dorset dairy farmer Mark Baggs is something of an expert.

A seasoned grower of large squashes, Mr Baggs cemented his place as an expert in the field when his pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo) weighed in at 121.6kg (268lb 1oz) at the CANNA UK National Giant Vegetables Championships, held at the Three Counties Showground in Malvern, Worcestershire, in September last year.

Fancy carving that for Halloween?

Dinosaur Footprints

Dinosaur Footprints

Largest dinosaur tracks in the UK

While the Jurassic Coast is renowned for fossil finds, one perhaps lesser-known discovery came in 1997 at Keates Quarry, Worth Matravers.

At the junction of the Upper Jurassic and Lower Cretaceous periods – some 140 million years ago – it seems a dozen sauropods, weighing in at around 30 tonnes, decided to take a stroll through the Dorset countryside, leaving more than 100 saucer-shaped footprints in their wake.

Some of the prints, which can still be seen at the site, measured just over 1m (3.28 ft) in diameter.

Candy Millar. Photo: Guinness World Records

Candy Millar. Photo: Guinness World Records

The world’s oldest competitive darts player

How many times have you heard commentators refer to darts players as ‘veterans’?

Well, you can be assured they are nowhere near as experienced as Dorset’s world record holder, Candy Millar.

The legendary league player was crowned the world’s oldest competitive darts player at the age of 92.

The Poole veteran took up the sport in 1966 and went on to win dozens of trophies.

Sadly, Candy passed away in 2015, but still holds the record.

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