Giant treat at nature reserve

Visitors to the Saltholme nature reserve gather round "the world's biggest hot cross bun."

Visitors to the Saltholme nature reserve gather round "the world's biggest hot cross bun."

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IT’S not one a penny or two a penny – you would have to pay a whole lot more for this beast of a hot cross bun.

If you want a feast to kick off Easter weekend then look no further because staff at RSPB Saltholme want people to go along and tuck in to what they claim to be the world’s heaviest-ever hot cross bun.

The sweet treat weighs in at more than 26 stones, is more than 8ft wide and is being verified by Guinness World Records. The current record is just over 16st.

The hot cross bun had was brought to Saltholme strapped on to the back of a truck yesterday.

The mammoth treat was baked earlier this week at Greenhalgh’s Bakery, in Bolton, home of the only oven in the country big enough to cook the monster.

And after a stop-start trip up north yesterday, which included hours gridlocked on the M62 due to the Arctic conditions that battered the Pennines, the hot cross bun has now taken pride of place at the nature reserve, in Tees Road, on the outskirts of Hartlepool – for the time being at least.

Hungry residents munched on the record-breaking bun when it arrived yesterday and staff believe, despite its size, it will be eaten by tomorrow, if not a little earlier.

“It might even be finished by tonight,” said Ben Calvert, visitor officer at RSPB Saltholme.

“We want as many people as possible to come along and have a taste of the biggest- ever hot cross bun.”

Ben was aware that the bun was going to be taken to an RSPB site and was delighted Saltholme had been chosen.

He admitted staff did fear the worst when the return of wintry weather conditions left driving conditions treacherous yesterday morning.

The hot cross bun was originally due to make it to Saltholme at around 9am. But it was 2pm by the time the wagon had battled the elements and arrived at the reserve.

“We did think that it was going to struggle to get here, but we were delighted when we found out it was still going to arrive,” said Ben.

“It’s something a little bit different and we knew it would prove popular.

“I would urge people to get down here and have a try before it all goes.”

RSPB Saltholme is open every day over the Easter weekend from 10am to 5pm.