A hedgehog in leaves  © Piotr-laskawski, Unsplash

As Victoria Burton, lead scientist for Earthworm Watch has previously reported, earthworms are a vital source of food for many small invertebrates including flies, beetles, slugs and leeches. Without earthworms in our garden soils mammals such as badgers, moles and our beloved hedgehogs would struggle at certain times of the year to find enough food.

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Curlew in winter © Victor Bernard - Unsplash

When I was young, I became slightly obsessed with learning about birds, such that I created lists in a small notebook of those that visited my garden or parks near where I lived.

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Mission: Invertebrate volunteers Calum and Kseniya taking part in an invertebrate survey at Regents Park

Mission: Invertebrate is a Royal Parks Project funded by People’s Postcode Lottery. This project focuses on the plight of invertebrates across the Royal Parks and beyond. Invertebrates are often the underdog of conservation, and not usually given a look in when in competition with much ‘cuter’ and more ‘cuddly’ animals. We want people to understand and discover how truly amazing invertebrates are, and how we can help them, at a time when they need us the most.

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Glow worms in caverns in the Blue Mountains, Australia © John Hartanowicz CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons

As the evenings draw in and the temperature plummets, we know that winter has arrived. However adjusting to more hours of darkness than daylight can make the prospect of winter feel a little bleak, especially if you can’t get outside to make the most of the short window of daylight.

Festive lights seem to bring streets twinkling back to life, creating a magical atmosphere in the darkest evenings. These displays can seem like a purely human invention but did you know that fish, fungi and invertebrates can also put on a light show?

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Autumn is almost over in the UK and with it a feast of leaf litter, but not without causing a surge in earthworm activity before winter. For the dedicated few earthworm researchers this means that the fieldwork season has been well underway. The UK has a strong history of earthworm research, with Charles Darwin leading the charge back in the late nineteenth century.

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About Us

Earthworm Watch is a collaboration between Earthwatch Institute (Europe) and the Natural History Museum in London

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