Two Teams from Macclesfield RSPB Phoenix (The teenage section of Wildlife Explorers) headed to Willaston in Cheshire at the weekend to take part in the 35th World Worm Charming Championships.
Junior Leaders David and Ali were presented with their very own Mortimer as a thank you for their help over the years. They are both due to start university in the Autumn; David to study for a degree in Ecology and Ali in Biology.
The morning of the competition brought ideal conditions – a couple of heavy rain showers followed by drizzle. The worms would be primed, active and near the surface – and organisers were initially hopeful of potentially breaking the World Record.
Our teams had help from a ‘fox’ and ‘hedgehog’!
The event attracted hundreds of spectators as competitors, in 144 3x3m plots, had half an hour to collect as many worms as possible.
Participants used a wide variety of techniques such as vibrating a garden fork, patting the ground, singing and playing a musical instrument.
Our two Macclesfield teams achieved very creditable results: A respectable 135 worms from Team A and an amazing 233 worms from Team B! Sadly it was not quite enough to secure the World Championship title which was won with an incredible score of 394.
Team Coach Tina Hanak said, ” We are so proud of our Worm Charming competitors. Half an hour of Worm Charming is physically and mentally demanding – it requires concentration and determination as well as lots of jumping up and down! Thanks so much to our supporters who travelled to Willaston to cheer on our team.”
The World Record still stands at 567 worms, set in 2009 – a great target for our teams in 2015!
The Bowden family from Lancashire were crowned World Worm Charming Champions 2015 with an amazing 394 worms after making a 120-mile round trip to take part in just their second Championship.
The Chief Wormer’s trophy for youngest wormer with 64 worms in plot 19 was won by 29-day-old Arwyn Davies.
Most Promising Newcomer award with 184 worms in plot 36 was won by Lucas and Melvyn Mostran.
Heaviest Worm trophy was won by Liam and Patrick Martin in plot 27 with 5.84g.
Trophy winners were filmed and interviewed by a news crew from Russian 24/7 English-language news channel RT, which highlights the global attraction of the competition.
The championships also included participants from Australia (259 worms), Philippines (81), Holland (202), Switzerland (114) and India (84).
The International Federation of Charming Worms and Allied Pastimes (IFCWAP) charmed 48 worms.