Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Riverford’s Big Worm Dig

Love Wildlife? Dig Worms!

Get busy this autumn with Riverford’s Big Worm Dig
Organic vegbox delivery company Riverford is launching a citizen science project to help improve our understanding of British earthworms. With their handy kit and just a lively half hour of rummaging in your garden, you’ll be contributing to brand new scientific research. Get involved and there’s also the chance to win a Canopy & Stars family glamping holiday, River Cottage courses, wormeries and of course Riverford meat and veg boxes.
“They may not be the most appealing of creatures, but we really need worms,” explains Riverford’s founding farmer, Guy Watson. “They are like mini tractors, loosening up the soil to allow air and water to penetrate. They also convert soil nutrients into a form that plants can use more readily, which is why we love them at Riverford; they help look after our veg. Whenever I find worms in our soils, I’m a happy farmer.”
Lots of other British wildlife species depend on worms too, as earthworm expert Emma Sherlock from the Natural History Museum explains. “Birds, badgers, moles, hedgehogs and even foxes rely on them as a source of protein. Without earthworms, leaf litter and dead decaying matter would start to build and build, and the world as we know it would change.”
Despite their importance we know very little about the British earthworm population. To help Emma and her colleagues understand them better, Riverford is hoping to get as many people as possible, young and old, taking part in their Big Worm Dig survey this autumn.
“We’ve come up with a really accessible and enjoyable way of surveying them that takes less than half an hour,” continues Emma, “and by uploading your results to Riverford’s Big Worm Dig website you’ll be contributing to real scientific research, and learning more about these fascinating creatures.”
This is the first year of the survey, the results of which will be released in September after scientific analysis.
Find out more at www.riverford.co.uk/bigwormdig.


  1. I love wildlife, but worms not so much...

  2. I think the idea of holding a worm freaks me out!

  3. OOOOh how utterly brilliant! I am off to read more in a sec, I love my womery and the compost is always amazing! They are truly incredible creatures and I always pick up stragglers on the pavements after storms :)

  4. my kids love all things creepy and crawlie will look into this