They don’t just do their bit for your compost heap; a public survey of the UK’s earthworms has found the country’s gardens are ‘hotspots of biodiversity’ when it comes to worms.
The project, which involved more than 40,000 teams of schoolchildren and homeowners, found that the average garden had a more diverse selection of worms than large agricultural areas. There are 26 species of worm in Britain, each favouring a different habitat – some prefer acidic soil, others drier conditions.
Dr. David Jones, who directed the survey, said that the most likely reason for the difference was that the average garden offered different types of habitat in one small space – lawns, flower beds, compost heaps – unlike agricultural areas, which are fairly uniform.
Jones told The Guardian that worms are crucial in maintaining soil health, keeping it well drained and aerated. “Without worms, our garden and parks would be very drab indeed,” he said.