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They say every dog has its day and now it seems so do earthworms because Thursday 21 October is World Earthworm Day.

There are 29 species of earthworm in the UK, about half of which are likely to be in domestic gardens.

They help gardeners in different ways and here’s why you should be glad to see them:

They keep things tidy – earthworms drag dead organic matter, like leaves, underground into their burrows.

They boost soil quality – as they break down dead or decaying organic matter, earthworms release nutrients back into your soil or compost.

They are soil engineers – when an earthworm burrows through soil they improve its structure. They create access points for oxygen to enter the soil, helping to aerate it.

They help prevent flooding – an earthworm’s digging improves drainage, so rain moves through soil more rapidly preventing waterlogging and flooding.

They encourage fungi friends – when you have earthworms, you’ll have more active fungi and bacteria in your soil and that’s good as they too release nutrients from organic material which help plant growth.

Did you know?

  • There are more than 3,000 species of earthworms worldwide
  • Some species live in trees
  • There is a society dedicated to earthworms. For more insights into the fascinating life of these invertebrates, go to the Earthworm Society of Britain website.

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