There are 29 species of earthworm living freely in soils in the UK. They are vital to the economic health of our country, as they are crucial for soil health, food production, waste decomposition and even flood mitigation.
This weekend course will provide an introduction to earthworms as a group, their natural history, how to collect them and how to identify them to species level using microscopes. The course will be a mixture of classroom sessions, lab practicals and fieldwork. The course is suitable for those with an interest in earthworms, and no experience of microscopes or earthworm identification is necessary.
By the end of the weekend participants will:
- Have learnt about the natural history and different ecological roles of earthworms
- Have had experience of field methods for collecting earthworms
- Be able to use keys and microscopes to confirm earthworm species identification
- Know how to record earthworms to the standards of the national recording scheme.
Please note that this course will involve collecting, preserving and killing earthworm specimens to identify in the lab and generate a site species list.
For upcoming Earthworm ID Weekend courses, check out the upcoming events.