A new online community hub has been launched to inspire farmers and land managers to take action to better understand soil and care for it.
Experts hope the hub will inspire policymakers, researchers, farmers and the public to protect the 'precious but degrading resource'.
The UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (UKCEH) warns that a third of the world’s soils are degraded due to intensive agriculture, pollution and climate change.
This has resulted in large amounts of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere, threatening long-term sustainable food production.
In response, UKCEH has launched uksoils – 'a single source for all things soil' – in partnership with the Sustainable Soils Alliance, Earthwatch, the University of Sheffield, the British Soil Science Society and Scotland's Rural College (SRUC).
The online hub will bring together resources, including educational information and school activities, plus guidance for farmers and land managers on how to support healthy soils.
It will provide a community forum to enable the sharing of knowledge and experiences, encouraging people to link up and carry out initiatives to improve soil health.
It will also share locations around the country where soil health pioneers are trying out new technologies and management practices.
The website – uksoils.org – is being developed and will eventually host a series of online events targeted to different topics suggested by its users.
Professor Bridget Emmett, Head of Soils at UKCEH, who is leading the initiative, said: “Soils are vital for humans and wildlife but, being hidden beneath our feet, they are often forgotten about and taken for granted. We are here to help change that.
“uksoils will bring together information that is scientifically robust and independent to inspire us all to work with others to learn more about soil health and take action to improve it.
"It is not just the responsibility of governments and those managing our land to safeguard this scarce and non-renewable resource; it is up to all of us.”