What's Under Your Feet?

Working with the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) our exciting citizen science campaign ‘What’s under your feet’, is helping to uncover the impact climate change is having on birds across the UK.

We need teachers and students to take part by collecting data from soil samples in the months of October, March and June. It’s a great outdoor activity that not only has real scientific importance but also aims to inspire young minds and get everyone working together.

You can find all the resources you need including; a handy checklist and activity overview, lesson plan, recording sheets and even a short video showing Dr Blaise Martey carrying out the sampling herself.

If you want to take the activity further, you can complete an additional survey and record birds visiting your playing field too.

All schools who feedback data will be credited in the scientific paper being written by the BTO.

2440 Schools/groups are joining in

11 Local authorities are joining in

Join in Already taking part?

Enter your experiment data

Enter the data you have collected from your surveys here and it will be sent to the scientists at the BTO.

Enter data

What you need to know about What's under your feet

Why take part?

This engaging activity is curriculum linked and will help develop analytical and scientific skills. Plus, students will be contributing to the first large scale study of soil invertebrate abundance across the country.

It's really important that you tell us about what you find - use the link from this page to input your data and we will send it to the scientists.

What do you have to do?

  1. Use our starter presentation to tell everyone about the activity and how taking part will help scientists better understand what is happening.
  2. Download the supporting resources - lesson plans with curriculum links, information pack for background on birds and climate change, data sheet, ID posters
  3. Complete the activity by digging up small squares of soil and finding out what's under your feet. You will count the earthworms and use a very simple guide to identify the other larger invertebrates in and above the soil. Don't forget to complete your data sheet!
  4. Upload the data from your sheets onto the Pod and we'll send it to the scientists.
  5. Let us know what you've seen by adding blogs - we'd love to see pictures of what you find!
  6. The BTO would also like to know about the birds visiting your school playing field or local green space. As an additional activity, why not carry out a bird survey - we have resources to help you identify the birds you spot.

When do I do it?

If possible we would like you to complete the activity 3 times throughout the school year - in October, March and June. We Will remind you when it's time to do this.

Don't forget to keep checking back on the scientists' blogs about what they are finding out from the information you are sending them!

Schools that contribute to the study by uploading their data to the Pod will be credited in a scientific paper written by the BTO