Have a go at ‘worm charming’ in London’s Hyde Park this Saturday and help scientists as they try to find the best way to woo a worm at the launch of the Earthworm Society of Britain (ESB).
The new natural history group has been funded by the Open Air Laboratories (OPAL) project following the success of its national Soil and Earthworm Survey.
OPAL is a nationwide initiative with many partners including the Natural History Museum, set up to inspire communities to discover, enjoy and protect their local environments.
'We hope to increase awareness and understanding of these under-valued little creatures,' says Emma Sherlock, ESB President, Natural History Museum.
'Thousands of people have taken part in the OPAL Soil and Earthworm Survey so the Society has been set up to help people develop their interest further.'
Worm charming competitions have been held around Britain for many years, with the world championships taking place in Cheshire each summer.
The experiment in Hyde Park will test some of the most commonly used techniques to see which activity yields the most worms.
Visitors could try ‘twanging’, stamping or even singing in a bid to encourage the park’s wriggly inhabitants to the surface. The event begins at 10:45 until 2pm.
Through the ESB, members will be able to meet experts and go on field trips, learn new skills to help add records to national databases, and their increase knowledge of earthworm biodiversity.
Nick Baker, Patron, Earthworm Society of Britain, said, 'Aristotle and Charles Darwin were both big earthworm fans, but these days most people don’t give these humble creatures a second thought.
'They are an incredibly important aspect of soil health as by churning it up they improve its fertility; which in turn is great news for plants, animals and ultimately us.'