[WORLDKINGS] The unique contests around the world – P16 - Worm Charming Championship: Unique Worm Charming Challenge in the United Kingdom


(WorldKings.org) Worm charming, worm grunting, and worm fiddling are methods of attracting earthworms from the ground. The activity is usually performed to collect bait for fishing but can also take the form of a competitive sport in areas such as east Texas. As a skill and profession worm charming is now very rare, with the art being passed through generations to ensure that it survives. The earliest place to practice worm charming was in London, which is today in the UK.

The World Worm Charming Championship was founded as a community project to raise funds for the school by Gordon Farr (former headteacher of Willaston Primary School), John Bailey (former deputy headteacher of Willaston Primary School), and Mike Forster (former Willaston Village police officer).



Participants in each of the 144 plots had 30 minutes to charm and collect as many worms as possible from their 3×3 metre plot. There were ‘traditional’ plots for two adults and two children and ‘tag-team’ plots for teams who wished to change their pairings throughout the charming period.



Most worm charming methods involve vibrating the soil, which encourages the worms to the surface. In 2008, researchers from Vanderbilt University claimed that the worms surface because the vibrations are similar to those produced by digging moles, which prey on earthworms.The same technique is used by many species of bird, which devour the worms as they appear above ground.


The activity is known by several different names and the apparatus and techniques vary significantly. "Worm grunting" generally refers to the use of a "stob", a wooden stake that is driven into the ground, and a "rooping iron" which is used to rub the stob. "Worm fiddling" also uses a wooden stake but utilises a dulled saw which is dragged along its top.

Techniques vary from sprinkling the turf with water, tea and beer, to music or just "twanging" with a garden fork. In some organized competitions, detergents and mechanical diggers have been banned.

According to en.wikipedia and so-counties.co.uk

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