how it works

  • Get the Big Worm Dig survey booklet here. You can download it right now or request it to arrive in the post (limited supply, so first come, first served).
  • Do your survey and jot the results down in your booklet. It should only take about 20 minutes or so.
  • Upload your results and we'll pass them on to our earthworm experts for scientific analysis later in the year.
How It Works

what will the survey tell us?

This survey will identify which of the UK's 10 most common earthworm species you have found. Very little is known about the distribution of British earthworm species, so the results you send in will all go towards improving our ecological knowledge of these hugely important creatures.

Live in very rich organic matter, most commonly in compost bins but also under cowpats etc.
eg. Tiger worms
Live very close to the surface of the soil, under leaf litter or in rotting logs. Break down fallen leaves, surface vegetation and rotting wood.
eg. Marsh worm, Square-tailed worm, Gilt‑tail worm
Make horizontal burrows in the top 15cm of soil and create a crumbly soil texture. Important for converting soil nutrients into a form plants can readily use.
eg. Blue-grey worm, Grey worm, Green worm, Rosy-tip worm
Create vertical burrows down to 2m, into which they pull leaves and other organic matter from the soil surface. These burrows help create good soil drainage.
eg. Lob worm, Black-headed worm