Thanks to all of you who have signed up and submitted data for Earthworm Watch which has seen a surge over the summer period with an increase in the spread of data points. We will be sending out a summary of the Spring/Summer season soon.
Whilst Earthworm Watch is keen to promote the value that earthworms have through their activities in the soil and how our scientific data (that you are actively helping us to gather) can improve their populations by better understanding their habitats, references to worms in literature, folklore and mythology is a fascinating one.
Citizen science is people powered research. The term describes a broad spectrum of different types of activities which enable ordinary people, often without formal training, to contribute to scientific research in their spare time. This can take a variety of forms, from outdoor activities such as surveys, wildlife observations and collecting samples, to online crowdsourced projects which are designed to allow individuals to help process huge datasets.
As Victoria Burton, lead scientist for Earthworm Watch recently reported, earthworms are a vital source of food for many small invertebrates including flies, beetles, slugs and leeches. Without earthworms in our garden soils mammals such as badgers, moles and our beloved hedgehogs would struggle at certain times of the year to find enough food.
On Saturday 17th June, myself and Dr. Alan Jones, Earthwatch’s Science Research Manager from the Earthworm Watch team had a brilliant time travelling to the world-class Amgueddfa Genedlaethol Caerdydd - National Museum Cardiff to take part in our ‘Get A Wriggle On!’ event hosted by the museum. The event was also a chance for us to reach out to the people of Wales, engage people in the work of Earthworm Watch and encourage everyone to dig for earthworms to meet our target of 500 unique data points.