OPAL Soil and Earthworm Survey


Discover the world of worms and contribute to valuable research

Group of boys holding a worm

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

Earthworms 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.

Downloads – what you need to take part

Survey pack

Also available:

Download all the resources above in a single ZIP file:

Need more pH strips?

Email your address and the number you require to opal@imperial.ac.uk

Looking for the Welsh language survey pack?

By downloading this survey you agree to the terms and conditions for the OPAL Soil and Earthworm Survey

Group leaders and schools

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.

Your earthworm photos

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

Play Earthworm Frenzy

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

Children's activity sheets

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

Watch it

Watch it

Watch it