It is one of the world’s most precious natural resources and is vital for growing the food that we depend on for survival.
But how much do you know about the soils beneath your feet and the creatures that make their home there?
As milder temperatures begin to arrive, it’s the perfect time to discover the world beneath your lawn by taking part in the OPAL soil and earthworm survey.
As well as learning how to identify the different worms in your school, garden or park, your results will help our scientists learn more about these often overlooked creatures.
You may also see some invasive species which eat our native earthworms and are slowly spreading across the UK.
The Australian flatworm, which is smaller and orange in colour, was first found in the Isles of Scilly in 1980 and has since spread through south west England.
The New Zealand flatworm, which arrived in Northern Ireland and Scotland during the 1960s, is dark brown, grows up to 17cm long and is covered in a sticky mucus which can cause reactions among those with sensitive skin.
Both of these species have become quite established in certain regions of the UK, but you can help to prevent their further spread by following a good biosecurity routine.