Articles in the press featuring Sustainable Soils Alliance

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The UK loses the equivalent of the weight of 240,000 double decker buses of soil per year. It’s in response to the UK’s plight that the SSA was born. Soil is the beating heart of life on earth, a vital element that supports the health of people, plants, wildlife, water and air. The good news is that society is starting to wake up to the value of soil…

SSA’s Ursula contributes to an August edition of the Avon Wildlife Trust column in the Bristol Post.

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Wicked Leeks (Riverford)

July 2019

Every human area of focus, from potato peelers to particle physics, starts with the seed of an idea, a passing comment, perhaps no more than a moment of curiosity. So it was with the first months of the SSA. As my dad and I researched soil for our tree-conservation conference series, we realised there is no answer to the simple question, what is healthy soil?


Farmers Guardian

May 2019

DEFRA could be forced to make a U-turn on its decision not to pay farmers to improve soil health as part of a new payment for public goods model. A report by the Government’s own Natural Capital Committee published this week said any future environmental land management scheme should incentivise farmers to help reverse soil degradation.

Farmlink: Waitrose & Partners

January 2019

As the majority of farmers know, healthy soils are the key to the achievement of healthy crops and higher yields. It is a fact that for decades has passed politicians by; soil has not received the attention it needs in comparison with other environmental indicators - water and air… Matt Orman, SSA Director, for the Waitrose Farming Partnership Magazine.

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Farmers Guardian

Oct. 2018

SSA Champion Rebecca Pow MP on soil as the bellwether of our farming and environment policy: “For too long soil has been overlooked….there are a number of reasons why, but they all lie in soil’s complexity.”

Full issue here.

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The ARB Magazine

Winter 2018

"Perhaps arboriculture should be regarded as a branch of soil science." A round-up of the ground breaking ‘Soils & Trees’ conference (Sept 2018), a collaboration between the SSA and the Arboricultural Association.


The Guardian

March 2018

UK farmers will be given the first ever targets on soil health: A new bill will mandate  measures to preserve and improve the health of UK soils, amid growing concern that we are sleepwalking in to a crisis of soil fertility.

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Farmers Weekly

March 2018

Campaigners have called on the government to underline its commitment to the environment by explaining how it will incentivise farmers to improve soil health.

The issues were raised at a debate organised by the Sustainable Soils Alliance.


Horticulture Week

March 2018

Eustice says there is hope in war against soil depletion. 

Delegates at a Sustainable Soils Alliance meeting have heard that the Government's 25 year Environment Plan, published in January, could be grounds for optimism for crisis-hit soils.

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Fresh Produce Journal

March 2018

Experts call for urgent action on soil health.

Expert stakeholders and campaigners have challenged the government to provide more detail on its ambition to achieve “sustainably managed soils” by 2030 at parliamentary debate.

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The Times

Oct. 2017

Time is growing short to save soil fertility, Gove tells farmers:

Britain is only several decades away from the “fundamental eradication of soil fertility” the Environment Secretary warned in a stark call to action for farmers & environmentalists.

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Farmers Weekly

Oct. 2017

Michael Gove has pledged to make protecting soil health a central pillar of farming policy and the system of support that will replace the CAP.

The Defra secretary said the state of the UK’s soils had reached an emergency situation and the government must act.

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The Guardian

Oct. 2017

UK is 30-40 years away from 'fundamental eradication of soil fertility', warns Gove:

Farmers must be incentivised to tackle decline in biodiversity, says Environment Secretary at launch of parliamentary soil body the Sustainable Soils Alliance.

Gove pledges action to protect soils

The Telegraph

Oct. 2017

Britain's soil to become infertile within 40 years due to intensive farming warns Gove:

The UK has only 40 years of fertile crop growing left because intensive farming is “cutting the ground from beneath" our feet, Michael Gove has warned.

Farms could become a wasteland in just 30 years, says Gove: Environment Secretary warns intensive farming and chemical sprays are damaging soil

The Daily Mail

Oct. 2017

Farms could become a wasteland in just 30 years, says Environment Secretary:

"We have encouraged a type of farming which has damaged the earth". Gove warns intensive farming including heavy machinery and chemical sprays are damaging soil.

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Fruit Net

Oct. 2017

Soil health wins government attention as UK Environment Secretary says state of soils is "an emergency".

A high-profile launch of the new Sustainable Soils Alliance at the House of Commons has pushed the soil health issue up the government agenda.

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Plant Based News

Oct. 2017

UK to lose soil fertility in 30 years, says Environment Secretary:

"We have encouraged a type of farming that has damaged the earth." Gove blames intensive farming practices for the loss of soil fertility. 

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Farming UK

Oct. 2017

UK will see 'fundamental eradication of soil fertility'

Defra Secretary Michael Gove has said the UK will see the "fundamental eradication of soil fertility" because industrial farming has "damaged the earth".

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My Green Pod (Guardian Weekend Supplement)

Spring 2017

"There are three pillars of life - air, water and soil. We destroy these at our peril". Ellen Fay, SSA Co-Director, on the global challenge of restoring soil health.