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04 December 2020

On Monday, Environment Secretary George Eustice unveiled England’s ‘Path to Sustainable Farming’, setting out more details on the changes that come into force over the next 7 years as the UK will no longer be bound by the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy. Changes include the introduction of the Environmental Land Management scheme to incentivise sustainable farming practices.

The EU Soil Observatory is launching today, 4th December. This will be a dynamic and inclusive platform that will provide European Commission Services and diverse knowledge to the broader soil user community to safeguard soil. It hopes to help place healthy soils at the heart of the Green Deal for Europe.

Data obtained by Friends of the Earth from Natural England has revealed that only a quarter of the sites of special scientific interest (SSSIs) in national parks are in good condition. Poor management has meant that the wildlife and their environments are unable to absorb climate emissions but rather release carbon back into the atmosphere.

Cornell soil scientists have developed a new interactive platform to model how soil organic carbon has fluctuated over the last 11,000 years. Soils Revealed was launched this week, and will also project soil’s future carbon-storing capacity to help policymakers and NGOs meet their regional and national climate goals.

The BBC have released a new animated video explaining why soil is vital to life on Earth and why we need to protect it, as their contribution to World Soil Day 2020 (happening on 5th December). The video is narrated by soil scientist Professor Bridget Emmett who is also part of our science panel.

The British Society of Soil Science’s president appeared on the BBC Countryfile to mark the launch of Plant Britain, a two year challenge to get us planting to help combat climate change as well as increase our wellbeing and wildlife. He highlighted the importance of healthy soils in supporting our nature and the role they play in mitigating climate change.

The Wildlife and Countryside Link has hosted a series of guests on their daily blogs dedicated to soil in the build up for World Soil Day. These guest writers have included Helen Browning from the Soil Association exploring the challenges soils face today, Patrick Holden from the Sustainable Food Trust discussing rewilding soil and Julian Gold, manager of Hendred Estate, explaining the importance of nitrogen reduction.

We have been working on a collaborative initiative uksoils, launching today in support of World Soil Day, to help kickstart a nationwide public appreciation and understanding of the economic, societal and ecological importance of soil health. This online hub for all things soil hosts a range of content to inspire all ages and interests. Please have a look around the site and let us know your suggestions for content and resources.


Banner photo: Novokatianna species Collembola/springtail, a tiny soil animal by Andy Murray.