To launch the 2015 International Year of Soils and celebrate World Soil Day, pupils at 30 schools across the UK and two schools in the Falkland Islands planted Rowan trees on 5 December 2014.
At one of the schools, South Farnham School in Surrey, Forest Research soil scientists were on hand to tell the children about the importance of soil and the need to value and preserve it for future generations.
Elena Vanguelova, soil sustainability research leader, explains: “Healthy soils are vital, but they’re often overlooked. We need soil to grow forests, food, fiber, fuel and much more. Soils perform essential ecosystem functions and help the environment adapt to climate change. They help manage water and improve our resilience to floods and droughts. We even get most of our antibiotics from soil.”
The 2015 International Year of Soils is an international government and United Nations initiative as part of the Global Soil Partnership. It aims to raise awareness of the importance of the soil beneath our feet for food security and essential ecosystem functions. Further events will take place throughout the year.
Meanwhile, the children’s new Rowan trees, provided by the British Society of Soil Science, will remain at the schools for many years to come and will be enjoyed by future generations.