Big thank you from

Could worms reduce growing waste problem?

by Paul Cormacain

THE Ulster Wildlife Trust loves worms. Trust me! It was it which was responsible for a group of children having a bucket of worms at a recent meeting.

When there, the children held up the worms to Patsy McGlone, who happens to be Chair of Cookstown District Council.

These children were from primary schools in the Cookstown area. They were delivering an environment-friendly message to their peers, to the public in the nearby area and further afield, to Cookstown Council, and to Patsy the Chair.

They were advocating the use of homemade compost. Good for them.

The worm logic goes something like this.

These worms can be used to start of the composting process. This compost is excellent in the garden, indeed it is possibly the best thing you can use in your garden. The use of natural compost means that we use less peat, or better still, no peat. If we use no peat, peatland wildlife habitats will be preserved.

These peatlands are a haven for wildlife, what with a wonderful selection of flowers, insects, birds and animals. Because of increasing use of peat internationally, many forms of wildlife are in danger. More homemade compost means less peat used means more wildlife.

What may pleasure many non-teaching folk is the fact that this whole exercise is designed to link in with the curriculum for Key Stage Two education. There is hope for youth yet!

The Ulster Wildlife Trust have kindly let me have more information about composting, using worms. The number of things you can use is absolutely amazing, and just think, what you get the worms to re-cycle, does not have to go into a council dump. Less waste.

Do you want to treat your coffee grounds and paper filters real good? Give them to the worms, who will re-cycle for you, and lessen your bin contents.

Worms go for coffee? Yes indeed, and many other things. They will take lawn grass cuttings and weeds, not to mention crop debris. You can also dispose of, via worms, your prunings, plant remains, hedge clippings and tea bags and tea leaves.

What, worms take tea?

Worms are very versatile creatures, tea and coffee indeed, and autumn leaves, old bedding plants, and pond weed. You might end up with very little to give to the binman next time he calls, and sure he might only have to call once a fortnight or once a month. We could be going for a big reduction in rates. Sorry, no politics!

While I personally have used two compost pits for many years, mostly using garden waste, some kind folk introduced me to the worms last year, and I have been using them ever since.

Some are in one of the compost pits, but this is still in an expirimental stage, and I do not like disturbing the beasties during the winter. Come the spring I will be checking up on them.

I also acquired a wormery, about the size of a big bin, from some nice folk in England.

Their name is Original Organics, from Devon, and their phone number is 01 884 841 515. These folk recommend different types of worms from our common earth worms, but I have been assured that these worms are indigenous.

They also have a bigger appetite and are able to consume a huge range of dinner leftovers, as well as tea and coffee. Why not give them a call and discuss wormeries?

When the weather turns warmer, I am going out to talk seriously with all my worms.

The compost pits are at the bottom of the garden, in the open, but I thought it best to put the wormery in the garage until we get better weather. But they will all be asked to account for themselves, and soon

Coming Events

Wednesday 19 February - Butterfly Conservation will hear about the marsh fritillary, at 6.30 in the Ulster Museum.

Monday 24 February - Lisburn RSPB is hosting its monthly meeting at 7.30 at Friends' School, where Dermot Hughes will talk about the Ulster Wildlife Trust.

Sunday 9 March - Try a Lagan Canal Walk, starting at 2pm from Lough Neagh Discovery Centre, phone 3832 2205

9 May - Preliminary notice of Bat Night at Bog Meadows.

Ulster Star