A partnership between the Woodland Trust and the National Trust

Science of Soils

Though soils aren’t what most people will think about when you think of woodlands they are an important part of the make up of the wood.

So next time you walk through a wood, pause for a moment to pay attention to the soil beneath your feet. Not just watching out for muddy patches, but trying to visualise the layers that cover the whole site like marzipan on a cake.

Often you can see the soil exposed in small cliffs by paths or streams. By understanding the soil profile you gain a deep insight into the wood’s history and can often predict flora and fungi found there.

Find out more about the soils at Fingle and join Dr Tim Harrod as he takes a short walk in Fingle Woods looking at the layers which make up the soil, how these are formed and how they affect the landscape. The walk on Thursday 5th May starts from the Fingle Bridge Inn at 6pm and will return by approx 8pm. Find out more and register your interest at woodlandtrust.org.uk/events.

If you can’t make this walk then the latest issue of Wood Wise delves into the deep, dark depths of the soil world, which is the foundation for much of life on Earth. It explores the beauty and function of soil, the fascinating creatures that call it home, the threats to its health, and ways to manage it sustainably for future generations of flora and fauna (including humans).

It looks at:

  • Incredible scanning electron microscope images of soil organisms
  • Differences between broadleaf and coniferous woodland soils
  • The worlds of earthworms and mycorrhizae
  • Ancient woodland soils and issues around translocation attempts
  • Sustainable soil management guidance

Click here to access the latest soils issue.

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