Worming their way to the top

Sam Jones, nine from Blackpool takes part in the Worm Charming at St Oswald's Church, Knott End-on-Sea
Sam Jones, nine from Blackpool takes part in the Worm Charming at St Oswald's Church, Knott End-on-Sea
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How many worms could YOU charm out of their underground burrows?

Competitive worm-charmers from across the Fylde coast gathered at St Oswald’s Church in Preesall to prove their skills were a cut above the rest.

Beginners’ luck went up against years of hardened experience as competitors young and old attempted to coax the worms out of the ground.

Traditionally used as a way to collect bait for fishing , worm charming can also take the form of a competitive sport, with the team that collects the most worms in a set time being crowned the winner.

Competitors ‘vibrate’ the soil using planks of wood, stakes, or cutlery, causing the worms to tunnel upwards.

Churchgoer Anna Charles, 15, who took part in the competition, said: “It was a lot of fun. It wasn’t like anything I’d ever done before or seen so it was quite a unique experience.

“We got 20 worms and we were joint second with another team who also got 20 worms.

“I was a bit reluctant to take part at first but then I got into it and it was good fun.”

The unusual event took place as part of a weekend-long exhibition showing the history of St Oswald’s Church and pictures from the parish’s golden days.

Event publicist Elizabeth Charles said: “We had an exhibition at the church with all the church records and photographs, so it was very interesting for people who have links to the church.”