The Week in Soil


Labour’s new Animal Welfare plan calls on farmers to conserve, enhance and create safe habitats for birds and animals during the breeding season, and encourage the growth of wildflowers.

While in the US, there are concerns about proposed cuts in the US Farm Bill and specifically the single largest source of funding for soil, water and wildlife conservation on American private land.

Dutch scientists are coding an app that will allow farmers in countries as far away as China to compare soil quality with their smartphones.

Could soil be the source of a new class of antibiotics?  Researchers using crowdsourced soil samples from a citizen science project, Drugs from Dirt, think they might be.

Or could it be next generation in low carbon construction materials, one-day replacing concrete blocks?  These researchers at least won a prize for a photo capturing their ‘weird and wonderful’ work.

And while we are at it, where did Quorn first originate from? Why soil, of course…

Not that everyone needs soil for producing food, apparently.  Urban scientists across Europe are growing plants without it – or for that matter, natural light…

“Encouraging words and ambitions, but the lack of legal underpinning is a fundamental flaw”, that’s the view of the country’s 46 Wildlife Trusts of the government’s 25 Year Environment Plan.