Happy World Soil Day
Thursday December 5th, 2019
To us, every day is a soil day – that’s why we so enjoy working to deliver the WaterSensitiveFarming Initiative.
But what does this mean for our valuable soils?
As much as possible, we need to ensure that land management techniques are aimed at boosting soil health and improving water holding capacity and infiltration. We support farmers with increasing organic matter content, selecting and planting the correct cover crops and buffer strips/headland mixes, undertaking worm counts, disrupting tramlines and removing compaction. We work towards this by getting out and about to identify the problems (with the helpful support of some risk mapping), and follow this up by providing trusted and local advice to our farmers. We recognise that this takes time, but it is essential for future food security.
As a matter of urgency we must also prevent any further soil loss from our land. That’s why we recently worked at a site in the Wensum Sub-catchment to widen ditches and create a 3-part water intervention to capture run-off from fields and a road. Run-off flow is now diverted from a straight ditch and into the first of three lagoons. At this point, the flow velocity is reduced, enabling the suspended sediment to settle out. From here, the run-off leaks through log jams that connect to subsequent lagoons; the second and third of which act as final wetland ‘filters’, capturing the remaining finer sediment particles and soaking up any attached nutrients. Finally, the cleaner water re-joins the ditch after seeping through another leaky dam.
Once the lagoons have settled, the second and third will be planted with native wetland plants.