About WonderWormsUK

Charlie Denham, born in 1941, son of a family butcher. At 17 years old, Charlie decided not to follow in the family business and instead became a poultry farmer. During the next 12 years, he built a very successful business rearing chickens and producing eggs from over 100,000 laying hens. Around 1968, the poultry industry, egg production in particular, became seriously unprofitable with over production and the loss of government subsides. The experience Charlie gained during this period taught him a very expensive lesson – never again to allow a marketing company or organisation control the price he receives for all his production.

Around 1968, Charlie became very intrigued by worm farming, having seen several small worm farms in America earning a good living from the sale of worms produced on manure from rabbit to cattle ranches, which easily became the most profitable enterprise on the farms where only a minimum of professional marketing was employed.

Full of enthusiasm which he maintains today, Charlie embarked on his career in worm growing, which became his main business in 1972. Selling worms direct to anglers and worm composts to gardeners. In 1970, Charlie proudly boasts that he built the first commercial worm farm in the UK. Other people were selling worms, but they were either imported, or picked from grassland and sewage settling beds.

The 1970’s were not easy for Charlie’s wife and 4 children with him working up to 100 hours per week, experimenting with scores of different ideas for growing worms, inside, outside, in bins, beds, heated and unheated pile beds, add all the many types of foods Charlie was experimenting with, and of course, the worms themselves.

Worms were collected and nurtured from manure piles, sewage farms, grassland, and woodlands. With nobody to ask for advice and with a growing family to feed, Charlie continued learning and improving his systems of growing worms, whilst of course listening to his gardening and angling customers, making sure that he only produced worms of a saleable quality.

During the 1980’s and 90’s, Charlie had perfected his systems of production, his worm species and built a considerable vertically integrated business all based on direct selling and many thousands of regular customers for his worms, gardening, angling and aquatic products.

Charlie now claims his family controls the most innovative and successful, genuine worm business in the world. His only disappointment is the emergence of city slickers entering the consultancy side of the worm farming, and charging many thousands of pounds to innocent persons, giving no visible market in return.

Today, Charlie’s involvement in the business has moved on to the role of research, development and consultancy. His son Andrew, is increasingly taking on the management of our 2 worm farms, his beef fattening unit and our rapidly expanding worm compost blending, package and retailing department that trades under the name of Tommy Topsoil.

Charlie say’s “Andrew’s personality and ability to get on well with staff and customers is a great asset to the business.” He can confidently leave the managing of the business to Andrew knowing it is in good hands.

Tricilla, Charlie’s eldest daughter, joined the business in 1997 as company secretary and financial controller. Charlie says “Tricilla’s efficiency in the office has been great for the business and I can now forget the mass of paperwork and spend my time developing new ideas for selling worms.”

Other family members are daughter Patricia, who looks visitors on training days, and Andrew’s wife, Dawn, who has recently joined our office staff in telephone sales.

A true family business which should give our many customers the confidence that they are dealing with a firm that has more respect for it’s name than for it’s bank balance.

Media Interest

Charlie’s lifetime with worms has attracted media attention over the years with many television appearances on farming programmes, world and local radio plus many hundreds of features, some with quirky headlines due to the unusual nature of the business.