An Essex farmer has installed an incredible pumpkin cannon on his land that lets punters fire the huge Halloween vegetables 200 yards (182m).

Ross McGowan, 24, who grows 200,000 pumpkins a year on his family estate, said he came up with the idea after seeing similar launching devices used in America.

And punters can now use his custom-built air mortar to pummel cut-out cartoon figures around his field for £2.50 per vegetable during the spooky season.

Ross, whose family have owned Hatter’s Farm, near the village of Takeley, for roughly 70 years, added that his new weapon was a “serious bit of kit”

He said: “It’s powered by air, and it will fire a 50cm pumpkin 200 yards. It goes very fast. It’s a serious bit of kit built by a company in the South West.

“We basically came up with an idea, and then they built it similar to the ones in the USA.”

Ross said his farm had initially operated a ‘pick your own’ service for families wanting to choose a particular pumpkins to eat or carve.

But his new vegetable canon offered a high-octane alternative for those wanting a less sedate time in the country.

He said: “We started to do pick your own, and then I saw the pumpkin canon in America.

“They were very good, and I looked at getting one sent here, but that was going to cost a lot, so we had it custom built.

“In total, we grow 200,000 pumpkins each season, but they’re not all for public consumption, they’re for wholesale as well. They’re spread across 50 acres.

“But for the canon, it’s £2.50 per pumpkin or £7 for three. We have cards to fire at that we put up over Halloween, with skeletons and others things that we change every year.”