Soil & Water Management Centre

Developing & improving your soils

Soil health and organic matters: the role of the biological engine of the earth

  • 25 Nov 2015
  • 10:00 - 15:00
  • The Benham Estate, Richens Lodge, Board Lane, Bath Road, Halfway, Newbury, Berkshire RG20 8NE
  • 0


  • Registration for this free soil biology workshop

Registration is closed

Soil health and organic matters: the role of the biological engine of the earth

Farmers and particularly those in the Kennet & Lambourn, Test & Itchen and Hampshire Avon catchments are invited to this free meeting focusing on soil biology, soil organic matter, use of crop residues, manures, composts cover crops and waste products. Due to limited spaces, priority will be given to farmers in these catchments who provide their CPH number.

There will also be a practical session introducing soil organisms and their role in soil health together with the opportunity to study some of these organisms with the use of microscopes.

10.00 Refreshments 
10.15 Introduction and Countryside Stewardship

  • Land management and water capital items
Karen Davies, CSFO

10.45 Soil health and organic matter - the role of soil biology in soil function, nutrient recycling and and incorporation of wastes

Tom Sizmur, University of Reading

11.30 Soil biology practical session
  • Soil biology, what it is and what it does
  • Introduction to soil organisms
  • Under the microscope - what these organisms look like
    • taking a look for yourself!
Matthew Shepherd, Natural England

Earthworms - the soil's macrofauna

  • Who they are and what they like to eat
  • Which of them builds "middens" 
  • What affects their abundance?
  • See what they do at night!
Jackie Stroud, Rothamsted Research

12.30 Lunch

13.00 Practical session in the field

  • Visual assessment of soil health
  • Worm survey and identification
  • How samples are taken for soil biology assessment


14.30 Discussion - CSFO

14.45 Close & Depart

The event is jointly sponsored and funded by the Soil & Water Management Centre and Catchment Sensitive Farming

Cover cropping – the opportunitiesn a rotation

Site Admin: Tim Chamen
t: 01525 405121/Mob 07714 206048

Events organiser: Tim Chamen
t: 01525 405121 m: 07714 206048

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