Riverford’s Big Worm Dig Week-26th May to 1st June

Looking for something to do over the Half term holidays?

Want to get the children outside?

Why not join up with The Big Worm Dig, it will run throughout the May half term school holidays from Monday 26th May to Sunday 1st June. You can join in by digging in your own garden or for Londoners short of space there will be a ‘Big City Dig’ at London Wildlife Trust’s Camley Street Natural Park near Kings Cross on 31st May (12 Camley St, London N1C 4PW).

Riverford is hoping to get as many people as possible to take part in its Big Worm Dig survey. Using the handy booklet available through their website, simply dig a small patch of soil in your garden, identify the worms you find with their easy key and upload results to the Big Worm Dig website.

Organic veg producer Riverford is teaming up with earthworm experts Dr Kevin Butt and Dr Chris Lowe from the University of Central Lancashire to organise a citizen science project to record volume and species of earthworms across the UK using Big Worm Dig Kits (free to order from Riverford’s website). The results will be analysed by the University of Central Lancashire and released in September.

Why? Earthworms are incredibly important in soil ecology, but very little is known about the British earthworm population. The results will tell us more about the conditions and regions they thrive in.

The event at Camley Street is free for anyone to attend. Kits are free and available to order from www.riverford.co.uk/bigwormdig. Big Worm Dig Kits will be available for consumers to use at the Big City Dig in Camley Street.

Working with earthworm experts Dr Kevin Butt and Dr Chris Lowe from the University of Central Lancashire, Riverford hopes to collate survey results from all over the country.

“Earthworms are incredibly important in soil ecology, but very little is known about the British earthworm population,” says Dr Butt. “We’re excited to see what the survey might reveal, and really pleased to be involved in the project.”“They may not be the most appealing of creatures, but we really need worms,” explains Riverford’s founding farmer, Guy Watson. “They are like mini tractors, loosening up the soil to allow air and water to penetrate. They also convert soil nutrients into a form that plants can use more readily, which is why we love them at Riverford; they help look after our veg. Whenever I find worms in our soils, I’m a happy farmer.”

As well as this, much of the UK’s wildlife depends on worms as a source of protein, including birds, badgers, hedgehogs, moles and foxes.

We was sent the pack from Riverford so that we could join in the big worm dig at home this week, in the pack was a magnifying glass card, a packet of organic mustard powder and a booklet to help us with the dig. Inside the booklet it tells us where worms live, how to detect them, how to dig for them, how to identify a worm and a little about the survey.

Sitting and waiting for the mustard powder to work, although he forget to dig down into the soil first
Sitting and waiting for the mustard powder to work, although he forget to dig down into the soil first

We followed the instructions on how to dig for a worm by finding an area in the garden and digging down about 10cm and wetting the soil a bit, we waited for a while until the water soaked in and then the boys started to sift through the soil, our soil was very dry and we found lots of rubble and stones which made it a bit hard to dig any further. After about 15 minutes of searching the boys found a small little worm, they were so excited. They quickly turned to the identifying a worm page in the booklet to work out which type of worm they had found. It was a juvenile (baby) one so they returned it back to the soil.

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Once you have found some worms you can upload your results at www.riverford.co.uk/bigwormdig, you will need to know where you found them, the postcode and what method you used to find them.

Over the summer Riverford also plans to host Big Worm Dig events at its farms in Devon, Hampshire and Cambridgeshire.

So what are you waiting for, get digging, have fun outdoors and learn about worms 🙂

we was sent a copy of the pack for the purpose of this post, which we chose to do as the boys love the outdoors

 

A Garden In Progress

Our garden has been in need of a good clean up for a long time but due to having three young children and holding down jobs, it was finding the time to do the huge task of tidying it up and actually making it back into a garden again but this time a fun and esciting garden that the boys would enjoy being in.

The jobs that needed to be done were colossal which was what probably out us off in the first place

  • The back of the garden Ivy had grown so much that it had attacked what was left of the fence and grew very high, it had actually taken up a good 2ft of our garden
  • New fence panels needed to be fitted at the back and also at the side of the garden
  • The shed at the back of the garden needed to be removed and replaced with possibly a bigger one that would also replace the smaller shed at the front of the garden
  • Trees needed to be cut down
  • Grass mowed and edges cut back
  • Concrete that gathered behind the shed needed to be removed
  • Garden needed to be leveled

My idea of a garden isn’t a flowery one but just one that the children can enjoy and have fun in but one that i could relax in too. I’m not very green fingered and find it hard to make the time to keep it pristine, so the less maintenance the better!

After much discussion with the other half we decided to buy the boys a play area, I had been on at Paul to buy them a play house but on a recent trip into Costco we found the perfect play area for them. It has 2 swings, a slide, a fort, a climbing wall, a house, a sandpit and a gymnastic bar, we took down the measurements and once at home we got the measuring tape out and took down some figures. It would just about fit in but we had the swimming pool up for the summer and that takes pretty much up our whole garden. We decided to go with it and just hope that our measurements were right. We thought that the ideal place would be at the bottom of the garden

The whole family have mucked in to clear up the garden including the little one who loved helping Daddy move all of the concrete and stones to the wheel barrow, he is a right grafter that one. We have worked until daylight has disappeared, we have made umpteen trips from the front of the house to the back with a wheelbarrow full of woodchip and we have all worked together to create a garden of fun!

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It has taken us over a week to get where we are and there is still so much to do, daddy didn’t buy enough fence panels and wood chip for the ground, so we need to sort that out, the ground still isn’t quite level but there isn’t much you can do when you have a whacking great big pool in it and the play area still has the odd decoration to be added to it.

I sat back and watched the boys play on the play area this evening, there little faces lit up with excitement, they was having so much fun playing together, laughing and enjoying themselves, my eyes welled up seeing such a sight.

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