Children across West Dunbartonshire are being urged to take part in an unusual nature project this month - counting worms!

The wacky idea is actually an important scientific study being carried out by the British Trust for Ornithology in collaboration with EDF Energy.

They are asking children to dig small squares in playing fields or other suitable spots and count the number of worms and invertebrates they find.

Scientists at the BTO will use the information unearthed in the “What’s Under Your feet Project” to see how it impacts on bird numbers and their migration patterns.

A spokesperson said: “Our exciting citizen science campaign is back for another year.

“We’re calling on schools to take part in an experiment to tell us what’s living in the soil beneath their playing fields or local green space.

“Many of these largely unseen invertebrates form an important source of food for Britain’s birds but little is known about how many there are, where they are or how their presence changes across the UK.”

In a message to teachers, EDF Energy says: “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.”

The company suggests children should use its starter presentation to tell everyone about the activity and how taking part will help scientists better understand what is happening.

Supporting resources include lesson plans with curriculum links, an information pack for backgrounds on birds and climate change, a data sheet and ID posters.

It adds: “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.”

To join up, go to