Middleton Down Nature Reserve is a wonderful example of the traditional chalk downland that was once widespread in Wiltshire and is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest due to the rich variety of its grassland plants. This Earthworm Sampling Day will involve surveying the site and generating the first-ever earthworm species occurrence records for Middleton Down. The specimens collected will help us to build up an earthworm species list for the site and all records will be added to the National Earthworm Recording Scheme database.

Sampling earthworms involves conducting microhabitat searches and hand-sorting soil pit samples to collect specimens for identification by our trained earthworm recorders at a later date.

This event is aimed at adults only. It’s free to attend and no previous experience is required as earthworm sampling methods will be taught to all attendees on the day. Spaces are limited so booking is essential.

Please note that this event will involve individuals collecting, preserving and killing invertebrate specimens for identification purposes.

What will the day involve?

  • Practical experience using a variety of methods to survey and sample earthworms
  • Practical experience in collecting and preserving earthworm specimens
  • A chance to meet fellow like-minded people from a range of different disciplines

Nurturing Nature Project

Anyone wishing to attend this free event must sign up as a Volunteer Wildlife Surveyor with the Nurturing Nature project (a biological recording project within the Chase & Chalke Landscape Partnership Scheme).

Sign up as Volunteer Wildlife Surveyor with the Nurturing Nature project

Recording the UK's earthworms

All records collected will be submitted to iRecord in order to share our findings with the site managers, Wiltshire & Swindon Biological Records Centre and the National Earthworm Recording Scheme.