Playing Poohsticks with his pals was one of Winnie the Pooh's favourite pastimes. When he wasn't trying to catch Heffalumps, that is! But now a scientist has come up with a surefire way of picking a winning Poohstick!


Poohsticks Formula

Poohsticks is the childhood game where sticks are thrown over a bridge to see which will float down the river to the other side first!

The beloved game was invented by Winnie the Pooh in author AA Milne’s The House at Pooh Corner, published in 1928. Pooh even got poor old Eeyore to join in. And nearly 100 years on, Poohsticks is still voted one of our favourite games to play!



Most of us thought it was a simple but fun game of chance. But we were wrong!

Now an engineer has discovered a Poohsticks formula to help us find the perfect Poohstick.

Dr Rhys Morgan says the stick should be a bit like Pooh himself. Tubby, short and a little rough around the edges!

His research was conducted to mark the release of The Poohsticks Handbook: A Poohstickopedia, by Mark Evans.

Dr Morgan spent countless hours playing the game in order to come up with his formula.



Dr Morgan, of the Royal Academy of Engineering, said the main variables to be considered are cross sectional area (A), density/buoyancy (I), and drag (Cd).

It results in this Perfect Poohstick (PP) formula:

PP = A x I x Cd

A larger cross-sectional area is needed because it increases the amount of the stick’s surface in contact with the water.

A tubby, rough stick will create more drag, causing it to accelerate quicker. And a denser stick will also mean it sinks just below the surface where the fastest water flows.

Dr Rhys Morgan says, ‘If more water is able to influence the trajectory of the stick, it will accelerate quicker. A rough stick will create more drag than a smooth stick, so in general, bark is good.’

It’s sure to give a game of Poohsticks a competetive edge!



And, following this Poohstick revelation, VisitEngland have compliled a list of the top 12 Poohsticks perfect bridges:

1. Sheepwash Bridge, Ashford in the Water, Derbyshire

2. Morden Hall Park, London

3. Heale Gardens, Salisbury, Wiltshire

4. Packhorse Bridge, Watendlath, Cumbria

5. Mottisfont, Romsey, Hampshire

6. Little Wittenham Bridge, Abingdon, Oxfordshire

7. Mathematical Bridge, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire

8. New Lower Bridge, Boscastle, Cornwall

9. Bridge over Bourne Eau, Bourne, Lincolnshire

10. Cantlop Bridge, Shrewsbury, Shropshire

11. Essex Bridge, Shugborough, Staffordshire

12. Hutton-le-Hole, Ryedale, North Yorkshire


Now will you be trying to win a game against the kids with the Perfect Poohstick?