Grow to School and International Year of the Soil 2015

Rain, Rain and more Rain. Yorkshire thunderstorms help charm the worms Grow to school which works in primary schools celebrated the UN’s International Year of the Soil this week at…

Rain, Rain and more Rain. Yorkshire thunderstorms help charm the worms

Grow to school which works in primary schools celebrated the UN’s International Year of the Soil this week at Marsden Junior School with a spot of worm charming amidst all the heavy rain and thunderstorms.

Earthworms are seen on the surface after heavy rain storms as they start to drown in saturated soil. Earthworms also come to the surface when it’s raining to mate.

Ama Chaney, one of the Founders of Grow to School said, “I wouldn’t be surprised if we see worms popping up everywhere, with all the rain we have been having we might be on the verge of an epidemic,” she laughed.

When it is dry, worm charming involves stamping on the ground cheating the worms into thinking it’s raining. “When looking for worms.  Generally we hear a lot of squealing and laughter from the children, it is a fun way to get children to talk about the importance of soil and horticulture which directly benefits the curriculum. An important part of the work we do in schools focusses on knowing and understanding the soil type of the school. The children feel, smell and experiment with their soil so that they understand what it is and how to manage it.  Digging for worms helps the children get their hands messy and its fun.”

Grow to school provide inspiring outdoor sessions which complement English, Maths, Science, Geography and History and other topic based lessons. They also support schools to set-up, run and sustain productive educational school gardens.

Ama goes on to say, “we are supporting International Year of the Soil as soils are so important to life on earth, to our agricultural and horticultural systems, to clothing, food and just about anything and everything!   It is often said that in a handful of soil there are more living organisms than there are people on the planet.  We are focussing on worms as they are like our own little eco-system engineers. Charles Darwin referred to earthworms as ‘nature’s ploughs’ as they help to mix the soil and create organic matter. This mixing improves the fertility and nutrients in the soil.  We hope when people see worms after a thunderstorm, they watch their step and appreciate their importance in the chain of life.”

For more information about Grow to School



Picture caption: left to right Meadow, Hannah, Flora & Sienna from Marsden Junior School

For media enquiries contact:, 07531948014

For Grow to School contact: grow@growtoschool

Ama Chaney 07881 988158

International year of soil (IYS) –

The specific objectives of the IYS 2015 are to:

  • Raise full awareness among civil society and decision makers about the profound importance of soil for human life;

  • Educate the public about the crucial role soil plays in food security, climate change adaptation and mitigation, essential ecosystem services, poverty alleviation and sustainable development;

  • Support effective policies and actions for the sustainable management and protection of soil resources;

  • Promote investment in sustainable soil management activities to develop and maintain healthy soils for different land users and population groups;

  • Strengthen initiatives in connection with the SDG process (Sustainable Development Goals) and Post-2015 agenda;

  • Advocate for rapid capacity enhancement for soil information collection and monitoring at all levels (global, regional and national).