AROUND 1,500 people enjoyed Saturday's sunshine with a day out at a festival in Crosskeys which featured activities a million miles from your average fair.

The Welsh worm charming championships was one of the big attractions of the day at the Green Park Festival in Waunfawr Park, as well as break dancing, graffiti art and a climbing wall.

There was also tips on survival skills, such as making a fire and foraging, from Dryad Bush Craft and for those who wanted to relax, Tai Chi demonstrations.

Organised by Groundwork Caerphilly, the festival, now in its third year, was funded with money from a number of organisations, including Caerphilly Council, the Assembly, Tidy Towns and the Countryside Council for Wales.

Executive director of Groundwork Caerphilly, Katy Hollings, said: "People seem to be having a really good time, this year has been excellent and it's a real family day."

One of the highlights was the worm-charming competition.

Teams were each given a garden fork, a stick and a bucket and had to 'charm' the worms out of the ground by making vibrations - fooling the worms into thinking it had started raining so they came to the surface.

The winning team were father-and-son duo Dave and Thom Ashman from Pontywaun.

Mr Ashman, who retained the golden worm trophy from his victory last year, said: "It's been a very good day, really enjoyable and a nice family atmosphere."

Charmer wins one over

I'VE always thought of myself as a moderately charming man, but it would seem the worms occupying Waunfawr Park would disagree.

Despite putting all my efforts into it, and battering a fork with a piece of wood for 30 minutes in 20 degrees is no mean feat in a shirt and tie, myself and my teammate, Katy Hollings, fell slightly short of the winning score of 16, with one.

This was one more than I was honestly expecting and thought myself and Mrs Hollings acquitted ourselves admirably for a pair of novices and on the plus side - we didn't come last!