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World Soil Day 2021

The Soil Association shares seven actions that will help to save our soils
Katie Hill - Editor-in-Chief, My Green Pod
World Soil Day 2021

Healthy soil is a crucial piece of the puzzle when addressing our climate, nature and health crises, as well for the productivity of our farms.

They’re also hugely important when it comes to resolving biodiversity loss.

Healthy soils, healthy people

Our soils are teeming with life – in fact, they’re the most biodiverse medium on the planet.

Just one teaspoon of soil can contain over 10 billion microorganisms, more than all the people on the planet combined!

It’s been 75 years since soil health pioneer The Soil Association was founded as part of mission to ‘save our soils’.

This mission was built on the recognition that the health of people, planet and animals depends on protecting our soils.

Soil erosion in the UK

Many generations later, a global movement is gathering behind the soil health cause.

Yet despite the growing awareness around the importance of soils, only 30-40% of Europe’s soils are in good condition.

In the UK alone, organic matter levels are declining, peat soils are widely damaged and soil erosion remains a critical problem.

Soil practices on farms

As stewards of the land, farmers play a vital role in producing food using sustainable soil practices.

The Soil Association wants this to be incentivised, and to become the norm on farms across the UK – starting with the seven actions below.

Research shows that by adopting regenerative practices like these, it is entirely possible to halt soil degradation – and even reverse it.

Government has a big role to play here. Next spring the Soil Health Action Plan for England will be hitting the table, and organisations across the board are working hard to make sure that these seven soil-saving actions are considered in new policies.

How to save our soils

  1. Monitor soil health on farms
  2. Increase the amount of plant and animal matter going back onto fields
  3. Improve soil life by reducing tillage and chemical use
  4. Cover up bare soil with continuous plant cover
  5. Bring more trees onto farm land to protect soils and reduce erosion
  6. Reduce soil compaction damage, from machinery and livestock
  7. Design crop rotations to improve soil health

Click here for more from the Soil Association on how to save our soils.

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