I can’t believe it has been so long since I posted. I’m blaming it on bloggers-block and overwork. However fear not I’ve got a real wowza for you today. I want you to go outside, find some grass, get down on your hands and knees and drizzle worms with mustard. Kinky eh but I bet you’re slightly intrigued?
No it’s not a new fetish I’ve developed in my blogging absense. My friend Hilly will be doing it, I’ll be doing it, in fact it’s hoped that thousands of people across the UK will be doing it and they will be doing it in March.
The Natural History Museum and Imperial College, London have launched an enormous nationwide worm survey and want as many people as possible to help them find out how many worms there are in our gardens, allotments, school grounds, playing fields, woodland and parklands and what species they are.
With the help of some diluted mustard and a spare 45 mins it will be a bit like the earthworm equivalent of the RSPB birdwatch weekend! The “worm scientists” (yes they do exist!) assure me that the mustard doesn’t hurt the worms but irritates them and brings them to the soil surface, making them easy to count.
So, from the 2nd March you will be able to download a worm pack giving you full survey instructions and a chart telling you what type of worms you have found. They want anyone over 11 years of age to get involved (if you are 40, 50 or 60 something I think you are still allowed, but only if you have someone nearby who can help you get up off the ground!). However, if you are younger, you’d better ask an adult for help or ask one of your teachers if you can do a survey at school. The results then have to be input on the website (see link below) where you will be able to see how they compare with other areas across the country.
Worm Scientists are getting worried about our earthworms and believe that some species may be on the brink of extinction, so it’s well worth getting involved. Where would we be without worms? the champion recyclers and bringers of fertility to our soil!
In the meantime (while you are getting your mind and body ready for this epic event) you can find out a bit more by looking at the Soil and Earthworm Survey page at the Natural History Museum website or for some great fun kid stuff about worms have a look at Worm World. For example, did you know that we have Green Worms as well as Grey Worms and Common Earthworms? A worm isn’t just a worm you know!
I’m sure this topic will be “worming” it’s way back into this blog in March… so it would be great to know if you will be getting involved – leave me a comment below.
Lets hear it for the worms!