Soil is essential for life on earth:
95% of our food comes from soil
1/4 of all known species live within soil and one teaspoon of soil can hold more organisms than there are people on earth.
Soils hold more carbon (as organic matter) than our atmosphere and vegetation combined
Soil also stores and regulates water flow, and mitigates climate change and flooding
Largely due to intensive farming a quarter of all soil across the world is severely degraded. It contains fewer organisms, stores less carbon, and loses its ability to regulate water flow.
With our imports of animal feed and food, UK farming and consumption also contributes to soil damage overseas
Careful farming practice could restore depleted soils to their full carbon storage and water regulating potential and thus significantly help fight climate change
Consider this when redesigning your garden: soil covered with non-permeable concrete or stone can’t absorb water or turn atmospheric CO2 into organic matter; though weeds will find a way eventually
DIG LESS! Ploughing and digging disrupts the soil structure, kills soil micro-organisms, and releases CO2 into the air. Growing perennials rather than annuals does not disturb the soil structure and shifts CO2 into the soil year after year
Only buy peat free compost and/or make your own: peat bogs lock up vast amounts of carbon which is released when the peat is dug up and exposed to oxygen.
Immaculate lawns usually require the use of weed killers and fertilisers and are essentially a monoculture. A more relaxed view of green ground cover is beneficial for biodiversity above and below ground.
Grow your own and buy organic produce when in season
www.soilassociation.org/media/4673/living-soils-a-call-to-action-2015.pdf, Wikipedia: no-dig gardening, www.growveg.co.uk, www.deepgreenpermaculture.com, www.permaculture.org.uk, ‘No Dig Organic Gardening’ by C. Dowding & S. Hafferty