A NANTWICH accountant is hoping he has all the right tools to claim victory at the 38th World Worm Charming Championships.

The championships attracts dozens of fanatics to the school grounds of Willaston Primary Academy every year.

Steven Betts, 35, who works for Barringtons Chartered Accountants in Nantwich, will be armed with a garden fork and spanner when he takes to his plot on June 24.

After competing in the quirky village contest on six occasions, he hopes to beat his personal best of 111 worms coaxed to the surface and help raise cash for St Luke’s Hospice.

He said: “People use all manner of techniques from playing drums and stomping to singing and playing a musical instrument on their plot.

“My plan is to ‘twang’ the fork with the spanner and use a combination of vibration and sound.”

Participants have 30 minutes to collect as many worms as possible from their 3x3 metre plot. Prizes are presented for the most collected, heaviest worm and most promising newcomer.

Last year’s techniques included whacking a tennis racquet and jumping up and down, whilst musical accompaniments included a saxophonist, a guitarist, a tambourine player and a drummer.

Steven added: “There’s 144 plots and great excitement on the day. I have a long way to go before beating the world record of 567 worms but raising money for the hospice is a great incentive.”

Friends and colleagues are sponsoring his effort and he’s hoping for rain in the days leading up to the event, softening the ground for optimum worm charming results.

Phil Wood, Barringtons managing director, said: “Our employees are always up for a charity challenge and have taken part in sponsored walks, cycles and marathon runs but worm charming is a first and we wish Stephen and all the competitors the best of luck.”

For more on the event visit willastonprimaryacademy.co.uk