Cobnuts are undergoing a "renaissance" thanks to a bumper crop and record demand for the hazelnut-like nuts.

This year's unseasonal weather has produced a national crop of about 600 tonnes, almost twice last year's production, and growers in some parts of Kent are reporting volumes up three-fold.

"They're seeing a renaissance," said Alexander Hunt, secretary of the Kentish Cobnuts Association, which represents most of the country's commercial growers. "We're not going to have any problem selling the crop, because niche, seasonal foods are growing in popularity."

The nuts are available from October through until Easter, and will soon be going on sale in Asda, Waitrose and Sainsbury's.

They can fetch as much as £9.99/kg in top-end retailers, and this season's crop is expected to inject new confidence into a sector that has declined steadily since 1913. Growers have recently planted 100 new acres.