Healthy soil is living soil, cycling nutrients to feed crops, and providing wider ecosystem benefits

Soil is the vital resource that underpins the ability of land to grow crops and raise sheep or cattle. When we recently conducted a fun experiment, burying a pair of cotton pants in a regeneratively farmed field at Lark Rise Farm, we were amazed at the results. You can read more about farmer Tim’s Scott’s pant project here.

Healthy soil contains a huge amount of life. Microorganism such as bacteria and fungi are essential for decomposing organic matter and turning it into nutrients used by plants. Invertebrates such as earthworms, beetles and ants, further breakdown organic matter and help aeration. Even small earth-burrowing animals like mice and reptiles can influence the soil’s structure, but the ultimate indicator of a healthy soil is the mole – no worms, no moles. 

Whether our farms are growing arable crops or grass for cattle and sheep, the health of the soil beneath the fields is fundamental to everything we do. But of course, the living world that exists within soil isn’t easy to see.  

This is why our project aimed at better understanding what is happening under the ground on our farms is essential. By supporting this initiative, you will help us find out how healthy the soils on our farms are and what contribution they are making to support a wide range of ecosystem services, including storing carbon, growing crops, and helping to reduce flood.  

How you can help

We are currently an appeal raising money to evaluate soil samples, train staff and our farmers to better understand the land and manage our farmland in a way that is better for the planet, without having to bury old pants. You can make a donation  at Assessing the health of our soil.

Assessing the health of our soil