As a nation, we love our gardens. We water, prune and care for veg patches, flower beds and hedges like they were part of the family. But there's one crucial element we rarely stop to think about, without which our gardens would be a barren wasteland. And not just our gardens, the entirety of life on Earth!
We are, of course, talking about soil. The backbone of gardens, agriculture and the ground we walk on.
You may be slightly unaware of the multitude of interactions happening below our feet and why we should care so much about soil. So, for World Soil Day we are creating a week's worth of content around the little known facts about soil to educate and inspire gardeners across the country to appreciate and care for what makes our gardens great.
We want to empower everyone to take ownership over their own plot of land to help the environment, prevent climate change and help meet the UN Global Goals.
Across the week you can find out about:
- About all the various organisms in the soil. If you don't know what a tardigrade is, you're in for a treat
- How increasing organic material in the soil can help to prevent flooding, improve soil health and increase soil biodiversity
- How mycorrhizal networks connect plants across the world
- How to stop soil biodiversity loss and the dangers with global soil degradation
- How soils can help capture carbon
Peat bogs store massive amounts of carbon
Our inspiration for our World Soil Day campaign comes from the UN 'Sustainable Goals' initiative.
Set out in 2015, these are blueprints to achieve 'a better and more sustainable future for all'. Goals range from 'no poverty' to 'climate action' and 'responsible consumption'.
Jenny Foster, project lead at the Global Goals Centre, explained that 'It’s not just about climate, it’s not just about poverty, it recognises the overlap of all of these issues. You can’t really talk about the climate unless you are also talking about inequality and health and well being. They all tie together.'
While the goals seem ambitious, each goal can be broken down into smaller, more digestible targets.
Goal 15, 'life on land', highlights the importance of forests and biodiversity, which wouldn't exist without soil.
Jenny Foster is the project lead at the Global Goals Centre. Goal 15 looks at ending desertification and restoring degraded land
Jenny continues, 'Gardening is about well being, looking after the Earth, protecting the soil and growing your own. All of these are really positive thigns and a really important part of the story that we need to tell.'