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Wester Ross Earthworm & New Zealand Flatworm identification and ecology workshop

Posted: Wednesday 2 March, 2016 @ 09:14:10

Mole hills by Mellon Udrigle in December 2007. Are moles and earthworms still present here?

Monday 21st March (indoor session) & Tuesday 22nd March (outdoor field session), based at the WRFT Office, Harbour Centre, Gairloch

WRFT is very pleased to invite you to a workshop based in Gairloch to learn about earthworms and their importance.

The workshop will be led by Drs Keith Marshall and Annie Robinson of the University of Aberdeen and Open Air Laboratories

Earthworms can play a vital role in the ecosystem by breaking down leaves and other organic material, recycling nutrients, aerating the soil and maintaining the fertility, productivity and biodiversity of large areas of land.

They can be a major food source for mammals such as moles, badger, hedgehog and fox; birds such as blackbirds, thrushes, gulls, buzzard, wading birds including oystercatcher, curlew, woodcock and snipe.

As generations of anglers familiar with the art of fishing with the 'garden fly' know well, trout and juvenile salmon are also very fond of them.

This is a free workshop which should be of interest to gardeners, crofters, other land managers, wildlife enthusiasts & co. No previous experience or knowledge is necessary. All welcome!

The aim of the workshop is to learn to use the OPAL keys to be able to recognise the different earthworms. On Monday afternoon we'll have an indoor session, learning to use the keys and to become familiar with local species; on Tuesday we'll be outside carrying out a field survey. 

You are invited to do a basic survey of your garden or nearby land for presence of earthworms, New Zealand flatworms and mole hills before the workshop.

The workshop may start around midday on Monday to give time for Keith and Annie to get here from Aberdeen, although they suggested coming over on the Sunday night (so we may be able to start a bit earlier).

Results of the earthworm survey will be presented at the forthcoming WRFT Refertilising Wester Ross meeting on 7th-9th April 2016; details of that event to follow.

For further details, please contact:

Peter Cunningham 01445 712 899 or