Soils in England and Wales under ‘serious threat’, says EA

Around six million hectares of soil in England and Wales are at risk from compaction and erosion, and arable soils are losing up to 60% of their organic carbon, according to an Environment Agency study

In a report published today, the agency said soil biodiversity and the biological processes and functions that it supports are “thought to be under threat” but added that there is not yet enough data available to fully understand soil health.

Intensive agriculture has driven arable soils to lose about 40% to 60% of their organic carbon, and soil degradation overall was calculated in 2010 to cost £1.2 billion every year, according to the study.

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