Get Digging! New Citizen Science Project Launched | Earthworm Watch

A brand new citizen science project from the Museum and Earthwatch Institute is inviting you to get digging to explore the underground world of earthworms. By taking part in Earthworm Watch, you’ll be contributing to world class research into soil health.

A smiling Lucy Robinson holding three earthworms in the palms of her hands, in a wildlife garden.
Lucy Robinson, Citizen Science Manager, getting hands on with earthworms in the Museum’s wildlife garden.

Taking part is easy. Choose your garden, a local park, allotment, school grounds or a nature reserve as your study site, grab a trowel and a free survey pack and you’re ready to go.

Why study earthworms?

Healthy soils are vitally important for supporting life on Earth as they recycle nutrients, filter water and grow most of our food. They also help limit the dangerous effects of climate change by storing large amounts of carbon in the form of tiny fragments of plants, microorganisms and animals.

A pink earthworm with brown stripes and distinct fleshy band around its middle.
Eisenia veneta, a compost dwelling earthworm.

Earthworms keep soil healthy. They improve its fertility and carbon storage ability by mixing in dead plant material, air and water. We all know what an earthworm looks like, but their underground life means we actually know relatively little about where the different species of earthworms are found across the UK, and how their role in maintaining healthy carbon-rich soils is affected by human activities such as planting schemes, moving top soil and adding fertilisers. This is where Earthworm Watch comes in.

Sign up now!

We are inviting people all over the UK to sign up for a free survey pack and gather information about soils and earthworms in their local area. The survey takes about an hour and anyone can take part. Ideally, you need to do the survey before the end of May, as earthworms retreat deep into the soil during the warm summer months making them much harder to find.

Request your free survey pack at

Follow @EarthwormWatch on Twitter