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Hutton expertise contributes to parliamentary soil health inquiry

James Hutton Institute scientist Willie Towers
“Soil is often the forgotten part of the environment but it is connected to plants, air and water so how we manage it is important, not just for soil health itself, but also for the health of our whole environment.

UK soils are a non-renewable resource and they underpin our food security, water management, biodiversity and carbon storage. However, are the right policies and incentives in place to ensure their long-term health? The question is at the centre of an inquiry by the Environmental Audit Committee of the UK Parliament, and to which experts at the James Hutton Institute have contributed evidence.

A panel integrated by Willie Towers (James Hutton Institute), Sue Cornwell (National Trust) and Martin Rogers (National Farmers' Union) answered queries about ways of monitoring soil health, its benefits to society and the consequences of failing to protect it, as well as what role should soil health play in the UK Government’s upcoming 25-year plan for the natural environment.

On behalf of the Institute, Willie Towers said: “Soil is often the forgotten part of the environment but it is connected to plants, air and water so how we manage it is important, not just for soil health itself, but also for the health of our whole environment.

“Soil carbon is one of the key elements that influences soil health but we must be aware that different levels are appropriate for different soil types and land uses; one size doesn't fit all!”

The Environmental Audit Committee aims to consider the extent to which the policies and programmes of government departments and non-departmental public bodies contribute to environmental protection and sustainable development, and to audit their performance against sustainable development and environmental protection targets.

The James Hutton Institute has over 90 years’ experience in soil and crop research.It has worked on numerous projects in recent years on the question of soil health, including the re-sampling of the National Soil Inventory of Scotland (which it also hosts), with funding from the Scottish Government, and the production of unified soil maps of the UK.

More information from: 

Bernardo Rodriguez-Salcedo, Media Manager, Tel: +44 (0)1224 395089 (direct line), +44 (0)344 928 5428 (switchboard) or +44 (0)7791 193918 (mobile).

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Printed from /news/hutton-expertise-contributes-parliamentary-soil-health-inquiry on 17/01/21 01:34:57 PM

The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.