Runners attacked by giant hornets at 'Downton Abbey'

Racer taken to hospital after being stung by killer insects at Highclere Castle

Runners at 'Downton Abbey' attacked by killer Japanese hornets

More than 300 runners in a 10k race at the Highclere Castle estate, famed as the setting of ITV drama Downton Abbey, were attacked by hundreds of angry killer hornets last weekend.

The racers took part in the annual charity run on Sunday and were injured when the insects attacked at the halfway drink station.

Director of the Gardner Leader Highclere 10k race, Derek Matthews, told Newbury Today: "Hundreds of angry hornets, threatened by the approach of the runners, mounted unrelenting, vicious attacks on the main field.

"More than 60 runners were stung, most repeatedly."

One runner collapsed after being stung repeatedly and was treated by medics at the scene before being taken to hospital.

Runners at 'Downton Abbey' attacked by killer Japanese hornets

According to the Daily Mail, the insects were disturbed in the undergrowth.

It is believed the hornets first arrived in France from Asia in a consignment of Chinese pottery in 2004.

Britain was protected from the deadly insects by the English Channel but they crossed the waterway earlier this year.

The Government warned Britons about a swarm of killer hornets from China that are a threat to the UK's fragile honey bee population.

The insects can eat up to 50 honey bees a day and are capable of wiping out their bee hives.

In France, six people died from anaphylactic shock after being stung by the hornets.

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