FSC | Field Studies Council

Field Studies Council: Bringing Environmental Understanding to All

Identifying & Recording Earthworms (WM Region)

  • Location: Preston Montford
  • Tutor: Keiron Brown & Kerry Calloway
  • Dates: Friday 11 October 2019 to Sunday 13 October 2019
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Sole Occupancy: £50
  • Shared Room: £30
  • Non-resident: £20

There are currently 29 species of earthworm living freely in soils in the UK. They are vital to the economic health of our country, as they are crucial for soil health, food production, waste decomposition and even flood mitigation.  

This weekend course will provide an introduction to earthworms as a group, their natural history, how to collect them and how to identify them to species level using microscopes. The course will be a mixture of classroom sessions and fieldwork. The course is suitable for those with an interest in earthworms, and no experience of microscopes or earthworm identification is necessary. By the end of the weekend participants will:

  • Have learnt about the natural history and different ecological roles of earthworms
  • Have had experience of field methods for collecting earthworms
  • Be able to prepare specimens for investigation under the microscope
  • Be able to use keys and microscopes to confirm earthworm species identification
  • Know how to record earthworms to the standards of the national recording scheme.
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Please note that this course will involve collecting and killing specimens for the purposes of identification and generating species records.  This course is designed for adults only so it is not suitable for children.   

Kerry Calloway first became interested in soil invertebrates when volunteering on biodiversity research projects at the Natural History Museum (London). This included sorting samples of invertebrates to order level and sampling invertebrates across the New Forest in Hampshire and the Malaysian rainforests of Borneo. This is also where she began specialising in earthworms. Kerry is a trustee for the Earthworm Society of Britain and has been for over 8 years. Kerry is the society Secretary and designs the annual strategy for the recording society. In addition, she regularly runs earthworm identification training courses and events. 

 

Keiron Derek Brown first became interested in invertebrates during a field-based entomology module at university and went on to volunteer on soil biodiversity research projects at the Natural History Museum (London). This included sorting samples of invertebrates to order level and sampling invertebrates across the New Forest in Hampshire and the Malaysian rainforests of Borneo.

Keiron now manages the FSC BioLinks project, with the aim of inspiring amateur naturalists to take up the identification and recording of invertebrate groups that are often forgotten and rarely recorded. In his spare time he is an active member, and trustee, of the London Natural History Society and is the national recorder for earthworms (running the National Earthworm Recording Scheme on behalf of the Earthworm Society of Britain).



This course is heavily subsidised by the FSC BioLinks Project (funded by the Heritage Fund).

Further Information

Course Brochure


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Since the course starts within sixty days, we would ask you to pay the full amount.

Sole Occupancy : £50


Shared Room : £30


Non-resident : £20


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