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Healthy Soils for a Healthy Life

2nd Soil Research Centre Annual Partnership Event

University of Reading

18th November 2015, 11:30 - 17:30

Meadow Suite, Whiteknights Campus

Healthy soils are essential for food security and ecosystem functions that make human life possible. Raising awareness about the importance of soil for human life is a key objective of 2015 International Year of Soils programme, led by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations. Soil health, and how to measure and promote this, was also identified as a key research priority by our Partners at the 2014 SRC Event. This year, we welcome contributions representing the diverse range of soil research required to improve our understanding of 'soil health', and the sustainable management of soils the ecosystem services they support. Through targeted workshops, we will explore what road map(s) and key milestones are needed make the transition to sustainable policy and practice. This event is open to industry, policy, practitioners and researchers.

Workshop Report

'Healthy Soils' Workshop Report

See the workshop summary submitted as evidence to the Environmental Audit Committee's Soil Health Inquiry (2016).


11:30 Coffee, posters and registration

12:00 Networking lunch and posters

13:00 Presentations

Welcome, Phil Newton, Environment Research Dean, University of Reading

Chris Collins, University of Reading, Introduction and 2015 Highlights

Murray Hart, Defra, 'Science challenges for soil policy'

Neville Fay, Treework Environmental Practice, 'Trials on acute Oak Decline using natural soil amendments'

Jackie Stroud, Rothamsted Research, 'Soil organic matter - improving yield through management of soil organisms'

14:00 Workshop/Break-out Groups (topics recommended by Partners)

Indicators of soil health (#1 priority from 2014 meeting)

Visualisation and modelling tools (#2 priority from 2014 meeting)

Access to soil data (voted no #1 by delegates)

Landuse change, forestry & peatlands (voted no #2 by delegates)

Pesticides (voted no #3 by delegates)

15:00 Extended poster session and drinks reception

16:00 SRC Annual Lecture: Anne Bhogal, ADAS, 'Maintaining healthy soils - what do we know?'

17:00 Close

For more information, contact:

Joanna Clark (

More information about the Soil Research Centre

Directions to the Meadow Suite, Park House, Whiteknights, Reading, RG6 6UA

Building number 8 on Whiteknights Campus Map