The Week in Soil

Soil News from Across the Web

“Farming and the environment must go hand-in-hand”  says the NFU in response to the government’s 25 year Environment Plan.  Farming is in “a unique position to deliver for the environment as long as there are productive and viable businesses, where food is at the heart”, they say.

Meanwhile, what’s in the EU’s environmental in-tray for 2018?  Brexit (obvs), this week’s plastics regulation, a chemicals regulation and an EU strategy for meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals including commitments on air, water and soil.

This week’s landslides in Montecito, California provide another timely – and tragic – reminder of the importance of taking care of your soil.

The ADHB is recruiting farmer research innovation groups from across the country to measure the impact of innovations in soil management between now and 2021.

What makes up the ’full spectrum’ of soil indicators?  Well its nutrition, biological activity, sediment loss, organic matter, physical properties and outside influences such as weather, temperature and historical farming practice – according to another ADHB soil ‘baselining’ project in Suffolk.

High levels of calcium, lead and zinc pollution in some of London’s soils were caused by the distribution of building dust and debris during the Blitz, according to the British Geological Survey, that is.

Matt Damon was wrong it seems.  Leafy greens, sweet potatoes and hops – and not potatoes – grow best in simulated Martian dirt.

Rare green soil developed over time from the ashes of ancient French volcanoes is a component in the winning entry for the FAO sponsored global soil painting competition.

Sustainable Soils Alliance News

Hot on the heels of the 25 Year Plan, the Sustainable Soils Alliance Launch Report and Call to Action was published this week – and is available to view on our website here.

We can now confirm that the stakeholder event to discuss the place of soil in the 25 Year Plan for the Environment in Portcullis House will take place on March 13.

We will shortly be announcing a formal collaborating partner for our soils monitoring workshop due to take place in February.  Watch this space for further details.

And finally, we are delighted to announce the recruitment of a new Director to the Board of the Alliance. Matthew Orman, Managing Director of Harcourt Public Affairs will be responsible for our communications and political engagement.