What's Under Your Feet? 2017/18

Spring dig runs between 01/03/18 and 31/03/18

Data entry is open from the beginning of March to the end of April

Help scientists at the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) understand the relationship between climate, the availability of invertebrates and how this impacts UK bird numbers and their migration patterns.

Sign up to take part and access all campaign resources.

News flash! Schools feeding back data to the 2017/18 experiment could win a trip to meet TV wildlife presenter Chris Packham at the BTO. Find out more.

Take part

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

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Campaign Wall

See all activity for this campaign from the Pod team and other schools. You can also add your activity to the Campaign Wall by adding a blog from your account.