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World Soil Day

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5 December 2019

Today is World Soil Day and our leading experts on campus have been sharing their knowledge on soil management, chemistry and biology through a series of fun facts and studies.

Did you know…

A single handful of soil contains more bacteria than there are humans on planet Earth.

Less than 95% of the calories consumed by people come from food that is dependent on soil.

In student research, it was discovered that although Arable land may have a higher infiltration rate, it does not necessarily infiltrate more water compared with an established woodland. The student found that the total infiltrated into the soil was higher for the established forest compared to the arable land even though there was no significant difference in the soil type.

It can take over 500 years for 1 inch of new topsoil to be made – but substantially less for it to be destroyed.

There is more carbon in soil than everywhere else on the planet combined.

There may be up to ten miles of fungi in the same teaspoon of soil.

One hectare of good quality UK soil should have the capacity to provide enough food for 2 to 3 people per year and store and filter enough water for 1000 people per year.

By some estimates, there may be as few as sixty harvests left due to the current rate of soil degradation.

With this in mind, our new BSc Environmental Land Management degree will teach students best practise going into the world of environmental consultancy. Students will be equipped to make decisions in the face of climate change and work sustainably.

Georgina Kynaston, a student at Harper Adams, has also been discussing soil in a different format. Enthusiastic about her studies, she talks about soil protection in her prizing winning environmental vlog. You can see Georgina’s video below.

To learn more about how we teach about soil and its wider ecology, come to our Open Campus Day on December 16th 2019.

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