Soil Animal Days 2016: Your turn to dig!


Soil Animal Days 2016: Your turn to dig!

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As visitors trickled in at the start of our Open Day last Saturday, Terrestrial Ecology's Gerard Korthals and Wim van der Putten were out and about digging for life in the soil. Now's the time to join them!

Back by popular demand: the Soil Animal Day(s). Last year on World Animal Day, people could go into their own garden or local park and fill in a form on our website to let us know what groups of soil animals they had found.

Nearly 300 submissions from all over the Netherlands gave us a rough idea of what soil animals are most frequent in Dutch gardens and parks. But scientists aren't that easily satisfied...

By extending the period from one to ten days (1-10 October), and by accumulating information over several years, Gerard and Wim are hoping to get a more detailed picture that can serve as the basis for further research.

Here's how you can help:

  • Submit your own observations via the website!
  • Contact people in your network: the wider the better. We're not just interested in numbers, it's easier to make comparisons if results come in evenly from all over the country.
  • In addition to gardens and parks, we're specifically asking schoolchildren and others to look for soil animals in schoolyards, petting zoos and childcare facilities.
  • Collect some of our soil animal charts from Reception (A3 or A4 size, plain paper or laminated) and hand them out!
  • The deadline for submitting observations using the online form is 10 October.

You'll find the form, lots of background information and even an actual photo competition with prizes (!) at Your help is much appreciated!