EFRA comittee is looking at a range of issues around the sustainability of the UK’s soils

A parliamentary inquiry into soil health is due to kick off next week.

The first public evidence session into soil health on Tuesday 7 March, which is being conducted by the cross-party Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) Select Committee, will feature witnesses from the academic and environmental sectors.

The inquiry notes state: ”Soil contains the organic and non-organic materials in which plants grow. But its quality can diminish, often because of human activity. Degradation of the quality of soil can have implications for some of its many properties that are valuable for biodiversity. Degradation can also affect agricultural productivity and soil’s ability to retain water, carbon or nutrients.”

Areas of questioning at the session could include the current state of the over 700 types of soil in the UK, what is known about soil health trends, the current regulation of soils, and the government’s strategy and targets for improving soil health.

Witnesses will include Martin Ballard, group head of environment at the Society for the Environment, and Matthew Orman, executive director at the Sustainable Soils Alliance, among others.