Help to dig up soil secrets

Help to dig up soil secrets

The autumn relaunch of the Earthworm Watch survey is aiming to inspire gardeners to record the biodiversity beneath their feet.

A national citizen science project being conducted by Earthwatch Institute and the Natural History Museum in association with the Earthworm Society of Britain, it has involved gardeners, families and schoolchildren in recording soil properties and undertaking worm counts in urban green spaces. The aim of the survey is to map the abundance and diversity of earthworms across the UK, especially in gardens, allotments and other urban spaces, and study the effects of human activity on earthworm populations.

The project was launched last spring and now needs more gardeners to get involved. Spring and autumn are the best times to collect earthworm data, because that’s when worms are most active. The survey takes around one hour to complete and simply requires you to dig two shallow pits in two different habitats in your garden, allotment or other green space and count the earthworms that you find there.

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Steve Ott
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