OPAL releases new earthworm key

Help our scientists by identifying the earthworms in your garden or school playing field with our new, simple guide.

The free guide covers the seven most common species of earthworms in British lawns and recreation fields, helping you put names to the species you might find in your own back garden.

A lob wormOPAL earthworm expert David Jones, from the Natural History Museum, and Chris Lowe, a lecturer at the University of Central Lancashire, created the guide following requests from teachers and community scientists.

It can also be used when taking part in the OPAL Soil and Earthworm survey.

With almost 4,300 surveys submitted, the results map now covers large parts of the country. But there are still gaps and OPAL scientists need your help to fill them.

Even at this time of the year, if the ground is not too cold, you can still find earthworms in the topsoil. So why not take a break from Christmas television and mince pies to learn more about these important creatures?