Benn wants to save our soil
The guidance, Safeguarding our Soils, outlines how the government plans to work with farmers, land managers, developers and planners to stop and reverse the degradation of England’s soil over the next two decades.
Since the Industrial Revolution, pollution and intensive farming have caused a decline in soil quality, which has been compounded by the modern threats of erosion by wind and rain and increased development.
The organic matter and nutrients lost as a result of these natural and man-made pressures results in reduced capacity for food production – a problem, given that the world will need to double current food production by 2050 in order to feed our fast-growing population.
Hilary Benn said: “Soil is one of the building blocks of life. Good-quality soil is essential for a thriving farming industry, a sustainable food supply and a healthy environment.
“Britain’s soils hold more carbon than all the trees in Europe’s forests – and their protection is critical if we are to successfully combat climate change.”
The measures provide guidance, training and advice for the agriculture industry on how to protect and increase soil organic matter; how to monitor levels and threats to the soil; and the incentives and regulation aimed at encouraging soil preservation.
Benn added: “This is an important step in increasing the value we place on soil, and will safeguard this vital resource now and in the future.”