In February, Kerry Calloway (Membership Secretary) and Emma Sherlock (Chair) from The Earthworm Society of Britain (ESB) returned to the island of Jersey to attend ‘Wild about Jersey’. This was after a previous visit in November where the Society and The Natural History Museum, London teamed up with the Department of the Environment for Jersey and societe-jersiaise to make a first attempt of mapping the earthworms of Jersey and training local recorders to continue this work. This also launched ESB’s National Earthworm Recording Scheme in Jersey for the first time.
The Earthworm Society (ESB) is a voluntary organization that plays an important part in supporting scientific research to improve the conservation of earthworms and their habitats and educates and inspires people to take action to help earthworms. The ESB runs the National Earthworm Recording Scheme and training courses for those who are keen to identify and record earthworms.
In November, the team spent two mornings sampling various sites across Jersey from boggy wetlands to sandy fields and woodlands. They even sampled at the bottom of a stream which has the potential to yield species that prefer wetlands! The afternoons were spent in the lab identifying the worms and training the team so they can then continue in the Earthworm Society’s absence.
It was a highly successful trip with a huge 18 species recorded from just the 2 mornings. Of those species 1 in particular Aporrectodea limicola was very interesting, as in mainland UK it is rare and yet was one of the most common species in the limited sampling.
On the final morning Kerry and Emma went into a local primary school where they gave an assembly to the whole school on the importance of earthworms. They then took the nature team of 14 local children out to carry out an Earthworm Watch survey which they really loved!
If you would like to learn more about the earthworms near you and haven’t had a chance to do Earthworm Watch yet to find out the earthworms in your area, please sign up. If you’d like to find out more about The Earthworm Society of Britain, would like to join or become an earthworm recorder to deepen your knowledge, please visit their website.
You can also read the Earthworm Society’s latest National Earthworm Recording Scheme Annual Report which explains their activities, events and records made in 2016.