National Earthworm Recording Scheme Update May 2017
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It has been a VERY busy year for the Earthworm Society of Britain so far... and we have lots of news. We also welcome 4 new earthworm recorders to the fold from our Yorkshire Dales Earthworm Identification Weekend and are due to train yet more earthworm recorders through our upcoming Earthworm Identification Weekends in Wiltshire and South Cumbria.

There are still plenty of spaces left on these courses, and existing ESB recorders can book places at NO COST. You are welcome to join for the whole weekend or either day. Simply email Keiron if you would like to attend either of these events:
Sampling Methods & Substrates
It's 3 years since we launched the National Earthworm Recording Scheme and time for us to review how we collect and record earthworm data. We've begun by reviewing the way we ask our recorders to report the sampling method used and substrate the earthworm was found in. The new system was designed to gather more in-depth ecological data while retaining a simple system for recorders to follow. You can read more about the changes from the ESB website:

Earthworm Garden Survey Techniques Study
Martin Noble is currently studying for an MSc in Biological Recording with MMU and is looking into optimising some of our earthworm survey techniques for use within gardens.  In particular, he is looking into species accumulation using both soil pit sampling and timed microhabitat searching.  His focus on garden surveys means that his results will be very informative when we design our new survey.

As well as undertaking his own surveying, Martin is asking if any ESB-trained recorders with access to a garden can help him by using the specific survey methodology that he’s designed for this study to undertake a garden survey using my specific survey methodology. All data must be reported to Martin by the end of June 2017.

Martin has agreed to share both the records and his results with the ESB and we can’t wait to see what he finds!

All participants will receive acknowledgement in his report so for more information and to participate email Martin at

Earthworm Recorder Handbook
A new Earthworm Recorder Handbook has been drafted and is currently in the proof-reading and comments stage.

This new document will replace the previous sampling and recording guidance provided to earthworm recorders during training events. The guidance has been expanded to cover a host of new subjects including earthworm preservation, identification resources and equipment, data flow and much more. Once finalised the document will be published on the ESB website and emailed out through this mailing list.

Upcoming Earthworm Training & Events

27-28/05/17 - Wiltshire Earthworm Identification Weekend
10-11/06/17 - South Cumbria Earthworm Identification Weekend
02/09/17 - Hampstead Heath Earthworm Survey (London)
09/09/17 - Earthworm Identification Workshop (London)
14/10/17 - Earthworm Identification Workshop (Bedfordshire)
21-22/10/17 - Darwin's Garden Earthworm Identification Weekend (Shropshire)

Find out more details on our website:

Making your records available to all  

The Earthworm Society of Britain last uploaded it's datasets to the NBN Gateway on 12/01/17 and currently has 3 datasets containing 7,335 records:
National Earthworm Recording Scheme records (Channel Islands) - 18 species / 46 records
National Earthworm Recording Scheme records (Great Britain) - 27 species / 2,869 records
Soil Biodiversity Group (NHM) earthworm records (Great Britain) - 26 species / 4,420 records

Please note that not all of these datasets has been transferred to the new NBN Atlas. The ESB is currently curating these datasets to bring them in line with the new system for recording Sampling Method and aims to submit all datasets in their entirety to the NBN Atlas during summer 2017.
Sign up to the ESB / Renew your ESB membersip here
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