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Schoolchildren and scientists plant trees to mark World Soil Day

Schoolchildren and scientists came together to mark World Soil Day
"During the International Year of Soils, our message will be to go and look, or even better get your hands dirty! Feel the texture and smell the life in a handful of soil.

Schoolchildren and university students joined forces with soil scientists in Aberdeen to plant 15 trees and mark the launch of the International Year of Soils (IYS) 2015 and World Soil Day.

The trees were planted at schools across the Aberdeen area including Dyce and Northfield Academies, Fernielea, Milltimber, Abbotswell, Danestone and Hazlehead primary schools, as part of an initiative led by the James Hutton Institute and the University of Aberdeen to raise public awareness of the vital role soil plays in everyday life.

Dr Matt Aitkenhead, soil scientist at the James Hutton Institute, said: "Everything in our lives is underpinned by soil — our roads, our homes, the food we eat, and the water we drink.

"None of us generally gives too much thought to a very important fact: without soil there is no life."

The James Hutton Institute is organising a wide-ranging programme of events over the coming year aimed at demonstrating why soil must be viewed as a treasured resource and how it is key to overcoming global challenges.

"World Soil Day is an opportunity to highlight and celebrate the importance of soil to life on Earth," said Dr Aitkenhead. "As United States President Franklin Delano Roosevelt said, the nation that destroys its soil destroys itself."

He added: "Appreciating soils can be as simple as taking a walk in the countryside and looking at the land, because what you are seeing is the soil in action, underneath everything, supporting, provisioning, regulating and adding to the beauty of the landscape.

"During the International Year of Soils, our message will be to go and look, or even better get your hands dirty! Feel the texture and smell the life in a handful of soil."

Marie Fish from the Biodiversity Centre at the University of Aberdeen said: "The best place to start raising awareness about the importance of soils is with young people, and planting a tree symbolises the fundamental relationship that all land plants have, both with the soil and our future."

As part of IYS, the university's Biodiversity Centre has launched a competition for primary and secondary schools to help pupils and their teachers engage with the importance of looking after soils.

Further information about all IYS events can be found on the IYS 2015 Activities page, along with links to other activities taking place around the world during 2015.

Press and media enquiries: 

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


Printed from /news/schoolchildren-and-scientists-plant-trees-mark-world-soil-day on 07/12/21 09:16:04 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.