The soil is a living entity that is under threat from erosion and poor farming practices. Improving soil structure and quality is a slow process, but raised soil carbon levels can make a real contribution to reducing levels of greenhouse gases. That will be the message that will be given at a seminar to be organized jointly by Organic Centre Wales and IBERS at the Royal Welsh Show on Monday 19 July at 2pm.
Dr. Liz Stockdale, a senior lecturer in environmental science at the School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development at Newcastle University, will be speaking in the Aberystwyth University Pavilion at 2.00pm. She is well qualified to talk about her passion for soil, having gained her BSc in Soil and Land Resource Science in the North-East of England, and later studied nitrogen cycling processes at Scottish Agricultural College, with a PhD from the University of Edinburgh.
You will often find me in a hole I have just dug in the ground, says Liz. I am the soil scientist; the one getting over-excited about the colours, textures and smells that are the expression of a soil's living community or talking enthusiastically about the interactions of organisms, the physics and chemistry that all happens in the habitat of soil.
But no matter what fine words or pictures that excite scientists like me use to describe the wonder, beauty and unique value of our soils or the numerous schemes or requirements that Governments introduce in an attempt to protect this essential resource the soil must ultimately be nurtured by those who till the land and whose livelihood depends upon it.
This event is open to members of the public, but it is important to book a place in advance. For further information and to book a place, please contact Carolyn Wacher at Organic Centre Wales on 01970 621852 or email email@example.com.
Notes for editors
1. Organic Centre Wales is funded by the Welsh Assembly Government to provide information on organic food and farming to producers, food businesses, consumers and others. It is based at Aberystwyth University and run by a partnership consisting of the ADAS, the Organic Research Centre Elm Farm, and the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences at Aberystwyth University.
2. The Organic Food and Farming marquee, Stand No 801 in the Countryside Care Area, brings together Organic Centre Wales, together with the certification, advisory and producer organisations, and offers organic hospitality throughout the week.