Please be aware that the below is not a definite statement of intent – please think of it as a word document or googledoc which is open for you and us to comment on. That way we can all see what the ideas up for discussion are, write down new ones and debate whether or not they’re good ideas.
Our responsibility as a land owner is to ensure that our soils are not only maintained, but built up and soil health enhanced so that they may continue to support life for generations to come. This philosophy will underpin every use that we put our land to.
- Undertake a baseline survey of soil health across the estate based on indicators which can provide an objective reference point over extended periods of time. Ultimately the results of the survey will indicate the priority areas of work, if any.
- Based on existing soil surveys over partial areas of the estate, a likely outcome would be the need to set soil organic carbon targets for the estate in order to sequester atmospheric carbon into the land to build soil fertility, thereby enhancing the estate’s natural capital over time. This would also enhance the water holding capacity of the soil as part of building the climate resilience of the estate landscape. Targets would need to be co-delivered with farm tenants and a model for including this aspiration developed as an addition to any farm tenancy– possibly identifying soil organic carbon as a feature of the tenancy and developing realistic metrics against which both dilapidations and tenant’s improvements can be claimed based on the management of the soils.
- Review of the Grounds and Gardens team practices to ensure they’re in keeping with soil health objectives.
- Should we prioritise for development land with the worst soil condition and health?
- We need a better compost system across the estate.