World Worm Charming Championship

Teams from OPAL went to the World Worm Charming Championship in Willaston (Cheshire) on Saturday. This annual event has been happening since 1980, and involves "charming" worms out of the ground without using water or chemicals. Each team has a 3x3m area which they have 30 minutes to get as many worms out of as possible.

Worm charming championship

This picture shows Emma Sherlock, president of the newly formed Earthworm Society, demonstrating her charming technique...Emma's team managed to charm 51 worms, which we thought was very impressive compared to the measly 6 we managed.

However, this was nothing compared to the winners, who broke the world record by charming a collosal 567 worms!! I don't know how they had time to collect them all!

After the counting of worms had finished, the worms were tipped into a trench and we were allowed in to have a look through and identify the different species of worms.

Searching through worms

Dissapointingly we only found 3 different species - Lob worms (Lumbricus terrestris), Redhead worms (Lumbricus rubellus) and Black-headed worms (Aporrectodea longa). But what the worms lacked in diversity, they certainly made up in numbers - in total, a staggering 21,797 worms were charmed out of the ground!

I'm already looking forward to next year. Must go, I've got to practice my charming technique!