It's a famous tree which inspired George Orwell when he was writing his classic dystopian novel.

Now, punters enjoying a drink at The Canonbury Tavern in Islington are being offered hard hats to prevent them from falling conkers from the chestnut tree.

General manager Martyn Huntley decided to do something about the conkers after receiving a small number of complaints last year.

"On the back of 12-14 complaints last year when people were sat out here eating their lunch, I decided to get the hard hats to prevent any complaints but also to have a bit of fun as well.

"There is a serious side to conkers falling on your head because it can hurt. I'm an ex-fireman as well so I like a bit of health and safety!

"The locals love it. There's a little bit of quirkiness to it. People are talking about it. 

"People were sitting out with them on even though the conkers are pretty much gone now." 


The tree is part of a conservation area and therefore it can't be touched.

"It's quite a well known tree so we can't touch it. So for health and safety reasons it's good to make sure the guests are safe!"