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Priorities for improving soil health in the UK

Event by: Westminster Food & Nutrition Forum

Priorities for improving soil health in the UK

Priorities for improving soil health in the UK Event Summary

This conference will examine priorities for improving soil health and delivering sustainably managed soils in the UK.

Stakeholders and policymakers will discuss what will be needed to meet commitments for sustainably managed soils rising up to 60% by 2030, outlined in Defra’s revised Environmental Improvement Plan (EIP) following on from the previously proposed Soil Health Action Plan.

Delegates will examine government strategy for improving soil management and monitoring, and latest thinking on improving understanding of new and emerging threats to UK soils, and innovative solutions to challenges for soils in varying landscapes and contexts across rural and urban settings.

Further sessions consider how enablers for improved soil management can be put in place, including funding and support, and developing frameworks for stakeholder collaboration, involving, farmers, land managers, building developers, investors and innovators, the wider business community, and policymakers in local and central government.

We also expect discussion on how soil health commitments fit in with wider policy ambitions for environmental land management, as well as for decarbonisation of agricultural emissions and the pathway to national net zero targets.

Overall, sessions in the agenda include discussion on:

  • policy: next steps for delivering sustainably managed soils in the UK – financing the transition – personalised and adaptable support for farmers and growers
  • land management: priorities for assisting land managers and farmers in moving towards sustainably managed soils – examining effective implementation of agricultural schemes
  • strategy: improving soil monitoring – options for soil classification – baselining and target-setting – overcoming fertiliser and pesticide-related issues – protecting and improving urban soils
  • research: priority areas – unlocking opportunities for innovation and citizen science – building a global framework for improving soil health and management
  • unlocking value: soil as natural capital – the potential for soil carbon markets – increasing crop yields and promoting financial savings – implementing the Sustainable Farming Incentive
  • net zero: the wider role of soil health in the UK – impact on wider net zero targets and government strategies for decarbonising agricultural emissions


12th March 2024




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