For a wriggling and slimy invertebrate, earthworms have a good reputation. Most people recognise that earthworms are important, but few understand the true power of these ecosystem engineers or even that not all earthworms are the same.

Find out how different types of earthworm perform different ecological roles and be prepared to be surprised at some of the natural processes that earthworms contribute to. The course will arm beginners with the underpinning knowledge of earthworm biology, ecology, behaviour and basic collection methods in order to embark on their earthworm journey.

This course is comprised of 4 modules, expected to completed within a four week period and utilises expertise from Earthworm Society of Britain approved tutors.

This is a new online training course from the FSC BioLinks project, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and the Field Studies Council.

This course is aimed at adults and covers the following topics from the Eco-Skills Earthworm Learning Framework:

  • SIN101 Earthworm Biology
  • SIN102 Earthworm Ecology & Behaviour
  • SIN103 Earthworm Diversity
  • SIN104 Finding Earthworms in their Habitats

An e-certificate of course completion will be sent to any participants that successfully complete all of the course components.


Regular Price: £60 (for professionals and residents outside of the UK) Select ‘Attendee’

Subsidised Price: £20 (subsidised by the FSC Biolinks project for non-professionals eg. volunteers, biological recorders, wildlife gardeners, amateur naturalists and students. Available to UK residents only.) Select ‘Discounted (Option1)’

Tutor: Kerry Calloway

Kerry 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.

  • Discovering Earthworms
  • Earthworm
  • Discovering Earthworms
  • Earthworm
  • Discovering Earthworms

Teaching Location: Online

Closer to the time of the course start date, attendees will be given access to the FSC's online learning platform.

There will be a number of resources for you to work through in your own time and weekly live webinars with the course tutor (see timetable).

These webinars will be hosted on Zoom, a free videoconferencing platform. We will email all attendees details of how to access the online course and the webinars closer to the course start date.

Please email [email protected] if you have any questions.

Time commitment: 4 weeks, 3-4 hours per week

This course will require approximately 3 - 4 hours of your time each week, and consists of four weekly topics.

For each topic there will be a number of resources and activities for you to work through in your own time, as well as assignments for you to complete before the end of the week.

Each topic will end with a 45 minute live webinar with the course tutor, these will consist of discussions and exercises that reflect on the learning of the previous week.

Live Webinars

The webinars will take place every Tuesday for the duration of the course and there are two live webinar time available (1:00pm or 6:00pm GMT) to fit around your work schedule.

The webinars will take place on:

  • Tuesday 4th May 2021, 1:00pm-1:45pm & 6:00pm - 6:45pm
  • Tuesday 11th May 2021, 1:00pm-1:45pm & 6:00pm - 6:45pm
  • Tuesday 18th May 2021, 1:00pm-1:45pm & 6:00pm - 6:45pm
  • Tuesday 25th May 2021, 1:00pm-1:45pm & 6:00pm - 6:45pm

Attendees can choose to attend either the 1:00pm or 6:00pm webinars (the same content will be covered during both sessions).

Example Timetable

Week 1: Earthworm Biology

  • Self-study material: available from 7:00am on 28/04/2021
  • Assignments due: 6:00pm on 03/05/2021
  • Week 1 Live Webinar: 04/05/2021 (at either 1:00pm or 6:00pm)

Week 2: Earthworm Ecology & Behaviour

  • Self-study material: available from 6:00pm on 04/05/2021
  • Assignments due: 6:00pm on 10/05/2021
  • Week 2 Live Webinar: 11/05/2021 (at either 1:00pm or 6:00pm)

Week 3: Earthworm Diversity

  • Self-study material: available from 6:00pm on 11/05/2021
  • Assignments due: 6:00pm on 17/05/2021
  • Week 3 Live Webinar: 18/05/2021 (at either 1:00pm or 6:00pm)

Week 4: Finding Earthworms in their Habitats

  • Self-study material: available from 6:00pm on 18/05/2021
  • Assignments due: 6:00pm on 24/05/2021
  • Week 3 Live Webinar: 25/05/2021 (at either 1:00pm or 6:00pm)

The final deadline to complete any outstanding assignments and self-study components is 6:00pm 31/05/2021.

What's Included

  • Expert Tuition
  • access to course content through the FSC virtual learning platform
  • access to weekly live virtual classroom sessions with the course tutor through Zoom
  • e-certificate upon course completion

Before You Attend

Once you've signed up to the course you'll receive an e-mail with access to the virtual learning platform (Moodle) a week before the first webinar.

Log on as soon as you can to familiarise yourself with the platform and course materials, and be sure to complete the first activities before the first webinar.

Webinars are delivered through Zoom, so you don't need to download any additional software to attend - just click the link just before the meeting is due to start and it will open in your web browser.