Minibeast of the Month 

Lots of children have enjoyed seeing all the earthworms that we have spotted when digging and weeding in the raised beds and in our compost heap. Earthworms are decomposers that break down and recycle waste material before returning it to the soil. Meet Wendell the worm, an impressive specimen who was living in the one of the pots near the greenhouse! Wendell was given a gender neutral name to reflect that worms are hermaphrodites which means that they have both male and female sexual organs.

It is a common myth that you can create two earthworms by cutting one in half but actually cutting off the head (at the shorter end after the saddle or ‘clitellum’) will just kill the worm. If you cut off the tail it may eventually regenerate but in the meantime the worm will not be able to do its important decomposer work.