Soil and Earthworm Survey


Get involved. The best time to do this survey is from March to September.

Discover the world of worms and contribute to valuable research

Group of boys holding a wormEarthworms are extremely important and play a vital role in recycling plant nutrients and aerating the soil.

By taking part in this survey, you'll help improve our knowledge of earthworms and the soils they live in – something we know surprisingly little about.

How to take part

Taking part is simple and fun. Don't worry if you are unable to answer all the questions, your results are still valuable to us even if you don't find any worms!

  • Step 1 – Download and print the documents in English below, or in Welsh, ideally in colour.
  • Step 2 – You'll also need a few everyday items including PH strips, mustard, vinegar and a ruler.
  • Step 3 – Find a suitable area and start looking for worms!
  • Step 4 – Tell us what you find using our simple online form.

Enter your results online

Once you've completed the survey, simply submit your results using the online form:

Problems entering your survey results online?

Send your results to:

OPAL, Centre for Environmental Policy,
Imperial College,
South Kensington,
London SW7 2AZ.

Need more pH strips?

Email your address and the number you require to

Downloads – what you need to take part

Soil field guide cover Soil field notebook cover
Soil & Earthworm Survey (PDF, 1.6MB):
Instructions and earthworm identification guide
Earthworm ID Guide (PDF, 845 KB):
Background information and recording sheet

You may download these documents for use in the context of the OPAL project only. All other rights are reserved.

Group Leaders and Schools

Support for group leaders and teachers: Download our group leader support guide, example risk assessment, and our new printable black and white recording sheets.


Earthworm guide

An earthwormDo you know your lob worm from your brandling worm? Get in the know with our online guide.

Learn more about earthworms

Your earthworm pictures

See the pictures you've sent in from across the UK. Get snapping and send us your photos.

View earthworm gallery

Play Earthworm Frenzy

Earthworm frenzyTest your reaction speeds and try to catch as many worms as you can in the time limit.

Play Earthworm Frenzy

Children's activity sheets

Boy holding a wormMake your own wormery with the soil and earthworm activity sheets available in our Kids Zone.

Kids Zone