Practice English Speaking&Listening with: The Amazing World Of Earthworms In The UK - Springwatch - BBC Two

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Most of us wouldn't give earthworms a second glance, but not emma Sherlock

Earthworms are her passion you see Emma is curator of worms at the natural history Museum in London

not only that she's president of the earthworm society of britain as

[Emma] is about to reveal. There's far more to the humble earthworm than first meets the eye

Most people think we've only got one species of earthworm [in] the uk, but that's really not true

We actually have about 27 different species

We've got stumpy green ones

And they're bright green stripy ones these ones when they stretch out you'll really see the stripes on them

We call them tiger worms because of the strikes we've got pink ones. We've got grey ones

We've got ones with black heads

We've got some deep red ones some a really large sort of 30 centimeters in length

Right down to some adults being just a few centimetres so massive diversity

Surprisingly scientists like Emma know very little about the distribution of these different earthworm species

Sampling the worms in your garden can help fill in these gaps

The best way to sample earthworms really. It's just to dig a hole in [the] ground so I don't really dig around the plot

Pull out the square

I've dug and then just go through it and try and see how many earthworms are in here and in a plot this size

Potentially it could be 50 100. Maybe even if it was a really really rich batch

Maybe even up to 200 earthworms

So in an area the [size] of a football field [you] [could] get maybe as many as 2 million earthworms

All gardeners may that earthworms are really really good for the soil

But the reason that is is because they are borrowing down into the soil. They're letting air in letting carbon dioxide out

Earthworms are the recyclers of the planet?

They are breaking down all the organic rubbish and releasing all those nutrients back into the soil to be used again [by] the plants

Without earthworms in our soils life will pretty quickly dry up

Earthworms aren't just good for the soil. They're juicy muscular bodies are perfect food for lots of other wildlife

Birds just can't resist them

[Badgers] gorge on them

60% of their diet is made up of worms and

Moles well they can eat 50 grams of worms a day

It does seem they get rather picked on by other animals

one neat Little trick

I'm gonna Share with you is something to actually get the deep bearing worth worms to the surface

Without the heavy digging, and that's this what I've done here is mix mustard powder with water

Maybe around 2 tablespoons per liter in a half bottle and then pour it on the ground

What this technique does is it just irritates the worm slightly so they come up to the surface?

Earthworm Behavior is also fascinating not least the way they reproduce I'll let Emma explain

Earthworms are hermaphrodites that means they have male and female parts

But they still sexually reproduce so they find another earthworm kind of glue themselves

Together pass each other sperm and then when they've broken off

They then each produce a cocoon which then sits in the soil until the conditions are right and then the babies Emerge


love earthworms because they're so

Amazingly important for our soils. There's such fascinating animals and when you actually start to look at them

It's amazing the diversity

And variety of them the sizes the colors the different jobs that they all do and yet no one's out there looking at them

And they're working so hard under our feet [I]

Hope you see them in a different light now


The Description of The Amazing World Of Earthworms In The UK - Springwatch - BBC Two