Organised by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), World Soil Day intends to “raise awareness on the importance of sustaining healthy ecosystems and human well-being by addressing the increasing challenges in soil management”.
This year’s theme focused particularly on soil erosion, a process in which the most fertile top layer of soil may be removed through wind, water, tillage and overgrazing.
As part of the effort, UK farmers also used the #farmingcares campaign, co-ordinated by NFU South East, to show how they are improving and monitoring soil health, using techniques such as overwinter cover cropping and winter grazing to return organic matter to the earth.
The special nod to soil maintenance is just a small part of the campaign’s larger goal, to provide a platform for farmers to voice how they deliver public goods through their care of animals and agricultural land, and provision for wildlife and natural spaces.
We’ve rounded up five of the best from Twitter and Instagram on #farmingcares to recognise World Soil Day:
— Ben Taylor (@ifordben) December 2, 2019
— Nick Wilson (@Nick_Wilson3) November 27, 2019
View this post on Instagram
#FarmingCares We’ve pushed it a bit by keeping these guys out on grass for as long as we can. All the other cattle are inside now, and will be housed throughout the winter to preserve our grassland. Had we left them out, they’d have grown a lovely thick coat and it really wouldn’t have bothered them, but the grassland would be an absolute mess! This group are on some of our lighter ground, alongside the majority of our breeding ewes. It’s so wet that the grass is barely growing though, so we’re already supplementing with hay. Despite the mud, being outside is still better for the cattle. Bacteria will thrive in the straw bedding in the sheds, whereas it has a much harder time survive out on the grassland, especially as the temperatures drop. 60% of the UK’s carbon stores are beneath grasslands, so we need to do all we can to maintain and protect these. Grazing livestock well is a vital part of grassland management. Upland peat soils and blanket bogs are the largest stores of carbon in the UK, holding around 200 MILLION tonnes in England’s uplands alone. These habitats are well protected by farmers and conservationists, through sustainable grazing practices, which avoids erosion and manages wildfire risk. So know where your food is coming from. Buy sustainably, buy locally and always look for @redtractorfood 🐏🌾🐄🐂🚜 #BackBritishFarmers #ClubHectare
A post shared by Charlie 🌾 (@globetrottingfarmgirl) on Nov 28, 2019 at 6:59am PST
Shining a light on farming
Here are five more general tweets from the #farmingcares campaign
New baby calves arriving this morning,plenty of deep warm straw in the pens for them to nest down in, keeping them warm keeps them healthy, which means less antibiotic usage in the fight against antibiotic resistance🐮#farmingcares #AntibioticResistance pic.twitter.com/w28198BJNL
— Joanne Pile (@pile_joanne) December 3, 2019
— Owen Piper (@MApiperandson) December 3, 2019
I created this pond 20 years ago one weekend home from college. Was a hole in ground with a small ditch, now teeming with bird and invertebrates. A pair of Egyptian geese are back for their 4th year. #farmingcares pic.twitter.com/rsgOvW25oU
— Lee Dallyn (@DallynLee) December 2, 2019
— Tim Gue (@TimGue1) November 30, 2019
Laying a hedge does make it a strong barrier to keep stock in, but you could do that with a fence. A good thick hedge is a great place for all sorts of wildlife! #farmingcares pic.twitter.com/Fy9VhMzr2C
— Philip Onions (@PhilipOnions) November 27, 2019
BOX How to get involved
Join in the #farmingcares campaign by using the hashtag on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Upload a photo, video and/or a short description of how you or a farmer you know is contributing to the public good by providing beneficial outcomes to wider society.