Soil Week: National Citizen Science project in the Netherlands celebrates soil animals

13 May 2024

On 22 September - 8 October 2023, the national citizen science project The Soil Animal Days (Bodemdierendagen) took place in the Netherlands. During these days, people across the whole of the Netherlands go on a “soil animal safari” and count multiple groups of soil animals. Their observations are submitted on the website of soil animal days, and based on this data, the abundance of diverse groups of soil animals is recorded. The counting of soil animals can occur throughout the whole year, but during the two weeks of Soil Animal Days, there is more attention from the general public and media outlets. Moreover, multiple side events are organised to highlight the Soil Animals Days, and many school classes plan the animal counting days within this period.

SOLO's Dutch partners NIOO-KNAW used the opportunity of the two-week event to explore the topic of the Soil Mission objective "Improve Soil Literacy" with local stakeholders. The identified knowledge gaps and possible solutions all revolved around soil animals and biodiversity to complement the main event.