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Watch: Dave the worm is the biggest in the UK

Dave made a fiver look like a postage stamp Photo: Natural History Museum

Natural History Museum scientists have revealed that the largest earthworm ever recorded in the UK has been found in a vegetable plot in Cheshire.

Unfortunately, though, he died due to the stress of transportation, sending Twitter into meltdown and prompting the hashtag #JusticeForDave.

Paul Rees from Widnes spotted the 40 centimetre-long Lumbricus terrestris in his vegetable patch. His stepson George named it Dave.

Emma Sherlock, Museum scientist and chair of the Earthworm Society of Britain is astonished by the find:

I was bowled over by the size of this worm when I opened the plastic box they sent it in. Not only is it really long, it is almost twice as heavy as any other wild earthworm ever seen, weighing the same as a small chocolate bar. I look forward to seeing if anyone can find an even bigger example by taking part in the Earthworm Watch survey this autumn.

– Emma Sherlock

Twitter users were horrified, however, to learn on BBC Breakfast that Dave has now in fact died.

The #JusticeForDave hashtag swiftly ensued.

Before his shock demise, Dave was the largest earthworm ever recorded in the UK, weighing an impressive 26g - trouncing the previous largest worm found in Scotland last year.

He will now become part of the scientific collection at the Museum. The record for other wild earthworms is 15g. Earthworms have lots of predators and normally do not survive in the wild to reach Dave’s size.