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  • Writer's pictureKate

Activity of the day: Be the early bird...

Have a go at catching some worms!

Earthworms are totally amazing creatures. They keep our soil healthy and able to grow all the crops we eat. There are loads of different species- if you look closely you'll be able to see how different they are from each other.

We've had such a lot of rain recently that the ground is really wet. That's good news for finding worms as they'll be near the surface (they go deep in dry weather as they need to stay where the ground is damp or they'll dry out). Look under logs, bricks, plant pots or small paving slabs (check that it's OK to move things if they're not yours), or use a trowel or a big spoon to dig up some soil in a border or grassed area. You should soon find quite a few worms. Remember that they don't like to dry out- put them into a clean plastic box such as a margarine tub or similar with some damp soil and dead leaves if possible.

OPAL, the Open Air Laboratories citizen science organisation, have some great resources on earthworms here:, including their pdf earthworm identifier flowchart guides. The Earthworm Society of Great Britain also have loads of interesting information on earthworms here:

If having a quick look at earthworms gets you really interested, you could set up a wormery or worm composter so you can look at how they live over a week or two. There are good instructions here: - it says you need a big plastic bottle, but any plastic container you have handy will do- although it will work best if it is transparent so you can see what's happening inside. You can use just soil and leaves/vegetable peelings/paper and card- you don't have to have sand for this to work. If you'd like to make a slightly bigger wormery or worm composter, the instructions here are good: especially the recommendation to make a drainage hole in the bottom- that's critical for bigger containers or ones which can get rain into them.

Happy worm hunting!

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