Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales is getting involved in an Anglo-French project to ensure that soil plays its part in limiting climate change. 

A great deal of carbon is stored in soil.  The deep ocean stores the most of the world’s carbon.  However of the carbon stored on land and in the atmosphere, nearly 80% is in the soil.

Ministers from the French and British governments will be meeting with Prince Charles to discuss soil health.  The initiative aims to find ways that agriculture and forestry can help preserve and improve soil carbon levels.

Protecting Our Soil Has The Potential To Reduce Levels Of Greenhouse Gases

Estimates suggest that farming and forestry can contribute between 20% and 60% of potential cuts in greenhouse gases up to 2030.

Lord Krebs from the Committee on Climate Change said: “The health of the UK’s soils is of critical importance for the productive capacity of our agricultural land.

“A combination of population and economic growth are expected to increase global demand for food in the future. At the same time, climate change could reduce the capacity of the land globally to keep pace with growing demand.

“It is, therefore, essential that we are doing all we can to protect the long-term productive capacity of our agricultural soils.”

The Anglo-French meeting has been organised by The Prince of Wales’ International Sustainability Unit in collaboration with both governments.

What Can You Do To Improve Your Soil

It’s easy to sit back and let farmers, foresters and developers improve the majority of soils across the UK.  But just like any recycling scheme, every little helps. There are things that you can do to improve the soil in your little patch – even if it’s only a small garden or a green roof.

Keeping your soils healthy is key to keeping our planet in good shape.  Not only will you be able to grow more nutritious fruit and vegetables, your lawn will be greener, drainage will improve and you’ll be able to enjoy your garden for more of the year.

Avoid bare soil – have something growing in it all year round.  A lawn, a perennial wildflower meadow, a green roof with perennial planting like sedums. In between veg crops, sow some green manure

Keep adding carbon to your soil to nourish the minibeasts and microbes that keep it healthy.  On the ground and in planters/green roofs. That means mulching bare areas with compost or bark.  Aerating and topdressing your lawn regularly and being careful about what fertilisers you use.  On extensive green roofs, feed annually with a carbon-rich feed like Enviromat Natural Green Roof Feed.

Avoid the use of pesticides and herbicides.  These disrupt the microscopic living things that are so important in storing carbon and nitrogen in our soil.

If you’re starting a garden, use good quality soil to start with.  Unless you are growing plants with specialist needs (such as ericacious plants or wildflowers), a good general purpose landscaping topsoil with plenty of organic matter is ideal for gardening.

Learn All You Can About Soil Health And Respect The Ground Beneath Your Feet.

Soil science is a broad and fascinating subject.  The more you read about it the more you’ll be hooked.  One of the most important things you can do to preserve the health of any soil in your care is AVOID COMPACTION.  Compacted soil is not a good environment for plants and animals to survive in.