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 course will provide an introduction to identifying earthworms using the FSC AIDGAP Key to the Earthworms of the UK & Ireland. The course will include a short presentation introducing the ecological groups of earthworms and features used to identify specimens to species level. During the course participants will:
- Have learnt about the different ecological groups (or ecotypes) of earthworms
- Gain experience looking at earthworm ID features using a microscope.
- Use an ID key to determine earthworm specimens accurately to species level.
- Know how to take their interest further.
Please note that this course will using specimens that have been killed and preserved.
This course is heavily subsidised by the FSC BioLinks Project (funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund).
About the tutors
Keiron Derek Brown first became interested in invertebrates during a field-based entomology module at university and went on to volunteer on soil biodiversity research projects at the Natural History Museum (London). This included sorting samples of invertebrates to order level and sampling invertebrates across the New Forest in Hampshire and the Malaysian rainforests of Borneo.
Keiron now manages the FSC BioLinks project, with the aim of inspiring amateur naturalists to take up the identification and recording of invertebrate groups that are often forgotten and rarely recorded. In his spare time he is an active member, and trustee, of the London Natural History Society and is the national recorder for earthworms (running the National Earthworm Recording Scheme on behalf of the Earthworm Society of Britain).
Kerry Calloway first became interested in soil invertebrates when volunteering on biodiversity research projects at the Natural History Museum (London). This included sorting samples of invertebrates to order level and sampling invertebrates across the New Forest in Hampshire and the Malaysian rainforests of Borneo. This is also where she began specialising in earthworms.
Kerry is a trustee for the Earthworm Society of Britain and has been for over 8 years. Kerry is the society Secretary and designs the annual strategy for the recording society. In addition, she regularly runs earthworm identification training courses and events.