Soil is a Cinderella environmental issue. It doesn’t receive as much attention as air pollution, water quality or climate change. But, whether we realise it or not, society relies on healthy soil for the food we eat, for flood prevention, and for storing carbon. The Government says it wants our soil to be managed sustainably by 2030, but there is no evidence that it is putting in place the policies to make this happen.
Around 300,000 hectares of UK soil are thought to be contaminated with toxic elements – such as cadmium, arsenic and lead - as a result of the UK's industrial past, but the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) has withdrawn capital grant funding for local authorities to clean up this contamination.