28 February 2018

Newly-published book explains why mud matters

A POCKET-size book that illustrates the value of soils and water in everyday life has been published by the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT).

The Soil and Water Balance - The Science Behind Soil Friendly Farming is a detailed guide on how farming can adapt to the challenges it currently faces through years of research carried out at the Trust’s Allerton Project.

This 100-page book also looks at the problems and solutions on topics ranging from erosion and contamination, to the impact on songbirds and other wildlife.

Similar to last year’s popular Moorland Balance, the book is presented in a Q&A style with several chapters, from covering the problems in soil health and erosion to finding solutions with the use of cover crops and buffer strips.

The importance of water friendly-farming, conservation agriculture and the ongoing work at the Allerton Project is also explained in detail.

A collaboration of papers from experts in the field are cited in the study, and among those is academic Jane Rickson, a professor in Soil Erosion and Conservation at Cranfield University.

Soil And Water Book CoverIn Professor Rickson’s foreword, it reads: “Soil underpins human health and wellbeing, thanks to the diverse range of goods and services soils deliver to society. For example, The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations state that over 97% of our food comes from soil.

“Flooding risks can be controlled when soils absorb heavy rainfall. These, and many other soil-derived benefits, are directly related to individual and national economic status.”

“As such, a better understanding of soils, and their properties, processes and functions is essential, if this is vital, yet virtually finite component of natural capital is to be appreciated and protected. Over the many years, the Allerton Project’s soils research programmes have contributed to much of this understanding.”

In the UK, 17% of arable soil already show signs of erosion, 40% is considered at risk and this has an impact not only on our land, but our water too.

The book, which is selling fast, costs £9.95 and is available to buy here

Notes to editors

The Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust – providing research-led conservation for a thriving countryside. The GWCT is an independent wildlife conservation charity which has carried out scientific research into Britain’s game and wildlife since the 1930s. We advise farmers and landowners on improving wildlife habitats. We employ 22 post-doctoral scientists and 50 other research staff with expertise in areas such as birds, insects, mammals, farming, fish and statistics. We undertake our own research as well as projects funded by contract and grant-aid from Government and private bodies. The Trust is also responsible for a number of Government Biodiversity Action Plan species and is lead partner for grey partridge and joint lead partner for brown hare and black grouse.

For information, contact:
Eleanor Williams
Telephone: 07592 025476
Email: press@gwct.org.uk