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UPDATE: Pumpkin grown by Wareham farmer crowned UK's heaviest
A RECORD-SMASHING pumpkin grown by a Wareham farmer has bagged the title of the UK's heaviest.
Wareham dairy farmer Mark Baggs, 30, was crowned cultivator of the country's largest pumpkin at a special weigh-off during the Jubilee Sailing Trust Pumpkin Festival.
The weigh-off on Saturday confirmed that Mark's pumpkin weighed 1,520lb (689kg) and was 16lb (7.3kg) heavier than the previous UK record.
Mr Baggs, of Worget Manor Farm, has dedicated most of his spare time to growing the pumpkin in a polytunnel on his farm, which he cultivated from a specially-selected seed planted on April 13.
He also holds the record for the world's largest marrow.
The dad-of-two said: “I'm extremely satisfied with the result; I started back in 2005 and have been doing this for quite a few years now.
“I've previously held both the UK and European record for heaviest pumpkin back in 2008 but these were beaten two weeks later. I doubt anything else will be as heavy this year round.
“It has done so well because it's been grown from a good genetic seed, and it's been a nice summer after a very cold spring.
“I grew the pumpkin for sport and to beat the UK record for the heaviest pumpkin, and I've done that which is a great feeling.”
Mr Baggs faced stiff competition this year from Lymington pumpkin-growing twins Ian and Stuart Paton, the former UK heaviest pumpkin title holders.
Last week the giant pumpkin was hoisted onto a trailer with lifting gear before being driven to the Royal Victoria Country Park at Netley, near Southampton, for judging.
The 108 stone winner also scooped Mark a £1000 record from festival sponsors Thompson & Morgan.
He added: “I still have the pumpkin at the moment but have signed the documents saying they can have it if they wish.”
Mark doesn't know what the sponsors will do with the pumpkin, but agrees that it would make a terrifying Halloween lantern.
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