How to count earthworms

Earthworms improve plant productivity, are principally responsible for engineering the soil environment and are an important food source for native birds such as the song thrush. There are up to 10 common earthworm species in agricultural soils and these can be grouped into three ecological types: epigeic, endogeic and anecic earthworms – each group having a unique and important function. Earthworms are an indicator of soil health, being impacted by pH, waterlogging, compaction, tillage, rotation and organic matter management.

Read this factsheet to learn how best to identify and count earthworms.

This information was last updated in 2018.