Worms crucial for healthy soil
Throughout April and with the help of some brilliant volunteers, we did a worm hunt!
The aim of the worm hunt was to increase awareness of the importance of worms for soil health, alongside gathering information on what types of worms could be found and where, in both gardens and local areas.
April is the perfect time to carry out worm hunts as the spring weather means the soil is warming up, but it is still moist. This means the worms are active, and not hiding dormant, deeper in the soil. We were thrilled to have over 1000 participants take part, from the UK and further afield with families and individuals from the USA, Canada, and Australia. It was great to see so many people taking an interest in their local soil biodiversity. From the participants which kindly submitted their worm finds to us, over 500 worms were found. These were mostly in gardens and compost bins and, across fields, farms, allotments and forests.
The most found worm was the common red worm, followed by the blue grey worm and then, the European nightcrawler. Each of these worms will be positively impacting the soil within all the different areas they were discovered. Increasing nutrient availability to plants growing in the area and improving both soil structure and drainage which is particularly useful for managing flooding both in farming and non-farming areas.
The worm hunt itself was part of a wider project called FAB Farmers (Functional Agro-biodiversity Farmers). This project is working with farmers to encourage farming methods that reduce the reliance on external inputs and increases biodiversity. A diverse ecosystem with a variety of microorganisms, animals, and plants both below and above the soil, are key to healthy soils and wider sustainable farming systems.
We would like to thank the Fabulous farmers project for funding the Worm Hunt Campaign and to all the participants who got involved throughout the month.
If you are interested in learning more about soil, and how you can look after it in your garden, on your allotment, or at your local community farm, take a look at our take action hub for more information.