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A group of youngsters will be watching the daily life of earthworms in 2017.

They’re wildlife enthusiasts and the earthworm experience is just one of a number of activities planned for the year to bring the children closer to nature.

They are all members of the Spalding Watch Group, the junior section that comes under the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust umbrella.

The current group was set up by leader Eileen Pearson and she is now running monthly groups with the help of fellow leaders Stewart Clarke, Bridgette Walker and Andrew Smith.

Each leader has their own gifts and talents that they share with the group, and it is Stewart who will be helping the children observe earthworms in a ‘trap’ - soil inserted between two pieces of glass.

Stewart also has plans to sink ‘traps’ into the ground the day before the March meeting so that beetles and other insects can be examined.

His enthusiasm for the wild world began as a child growing up in West Pinchbeck.

He said: “I spent most of my boyhood in the dykes up to my knees in mud. I appreciate the tiny things.”

Eileen moved to this area around 30 years ago, bringing with her her love of wildlife.

She says: “I always had a love of nature but it was once I retired I had the time and space to really get involved to the extent that I wanted.”

Like the others, she is a member of Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust which holds regular meetings for adults at Pinchbeck Village Hall.

She decided it was time to re-launch a Watch Group in the town, based at the Willow Tree Fen nature reserve. An average of eight or nine children turn up for each meeting, which might be at the nature reserve or involve field trips and occasional weekends away.

Stewart thinks children have lost contact with the wild world, and says: “It’s essential they re-connect. We are all dependent on the world about us.”

Eileen believes that getting out into fresh air and nature is good for wellbeing.

The group is aimed at youngsters aged five to 12, though there is some flexibility at leaders’ discretion, and costs £1 per session.

Contact Eileen on 01775 768359/07443 485524 for further information.