The Week in Soil

Soil News from Across the Web

  • At long last the government’s 25 year Plan for the Environment is here- with the ambition for all of England’s soils to be managed sustainably by 2030.
  • Last week Michael Gove spoke at the Oxford Farming Conference on soil.  See his speech here, and the response from Helen Browning, CEO of the Soil Association here.
  • Snow on the Sahara desert for only the third time in 40 years.  But did poor crop selection and soil management lead to its creation in the first place?
  • Phosphates which have been washed off farmed fields cited among the main reasons for the worrying decline in Mayfly populations in the UK and across Europe.
  • How much soil is lost globally every year?  A new EU funded study has the answer.
  • Will 2018 see the most comprehensive assessment of soil biodiversity and the impact of national land based policies across Europe?
  • Don’t forget your Christmas tree can be recycled into woodchip or soil-improver.  Look out for designated sites e.g. in Westminster and Brighton.
  • And finally, don’t forget that soil can kill you (according to the Daily mail, that is)…

Sustainable Soils Alliance News

Before Christmas members of the SSA team had a helpful introductory meeting with Farming Minister, George Eustice MP alongside Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to DEFRA Ministers, Rebecca Pow, and other DEFRA officials.  At the meeting we discussed the importance of soil metrics as the foundation of any sustainable soil policy and confirmed with him that the measurement, evaluation and understanding of soil will be the topic of the first of our soil workshops due to take place in Q1 2018.

In March we will be organising a stakeholder event to discuss the place of soil in the 25 Year Plan for the Environment in Portcullis House.

Finally the SSA Launch Report and Call to Action - coinciding nicely with the 25 Year Plan - is due to be published early next week. 

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