Gardening with Children

School Zone

Take part in a Compost Bug Survey

Date Posted: 01 February 2012

There is life in your Compost Bin 
The 'Classic' Single Wooden Compost Bin (90x90x75cm)
If you have a compost bin believe it or not it could contain hundreds of living creatures and I don’t just mean worms. At the moment research is being carried out to find out what creatures actually live in our compost bins/heaps during the different seasons of the year and in all corners of the country and everyone is being invited to take part. It is thought that different localities may well have bred their own particular variation of common bugs but nobody really knows, yet.
Relatively little is known of the invertebrates that live in our compost heaps and no systematic survey of compost faunas has been conducted in the UK. The Recycle Works have joined forces with Peter Smithers of the University of Plymouth in an exciting project to catalogue the fauna of our compost heaps and bins in order to gain a better understanding of their role in the composting process.
We are asking gardeners/schools to assist by collecting samples of compost from their heaps and to extract the invertebrates from them or they can simply send in their intact samples in an empty margarine tub. Ideally send in three samples from each heap but if this is impractical a single sample will do. Samples should be taken from the centre of the heap at three levels: top, middle and bottom.
For more information, where to send your samples to and a Compost Heap Invertebrate Survey Form which needs to be sent with your compost samples click here.
So make a visit to your compost bin and get delving. Send your Spring samples as soon as you can, repeating again in Summer, Autumn and Winter.
Don’t forget send your samples to Peter Smithers at the University of Plymouth not to The Recycleworks please!


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