Land Journal July-August 2016

Mike Swain

Editor, Land Journal (RICS)

People have passions about many different things; Tim Farewell’s is for soil.

Land Journal July-August 2016

There are more than 1,000 different soil types in the UK, across both rural and urban environments, and all of them affect those who work with land in some way.

Tim, a senior research fellow at Cranfield University, has spent 12 years helping to produce soil maps. He writes about the pleasure of working alongside “amazing people” who are protecting and distributing our water resources, growing food for our tables, looking after our roads, preventing gas leaks and insuring our properties.

Tim says: “I love the passion that these people have for their work. … Their work, their assets, their risks are related to the soil.”

Cranfield’s soil maps reveal subsidence risk, suitability for crops or how easy it would be for pesticides to leach into groundwater. There are also maps that model how subsidence risk might change over the next 15 to 35 years as a result of climate change. Cranfield is able to provide land managers, town planners or infrastructure operators with maps to answer their specific questions.

Elsewhere in the issue, Lorna Devenish explains how organisations in the South West of England are working together to store water, improve water quality,reduce floodwater silt and restore peatland as part of an upstream land management project. And there is practical advice from the Insect Pollinators Initiative on managing farmland to encourage pollinators.

But what lies beneath it all is soil.

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