MPs launch inquiry into soil health – have your say

15 December 2022

Environment and climate
Hands holding healthy soil with worm

Soil health, among other environmental benefits, forms part of the new ELMs (Environmental Land Management schemes). The soil health inquiry will analyse the government’s role in preventing soil degradation and restoring soils across England.

Citing the importance of soil health to growing food, promoting biodiversity, and reducing carbon emissions, the EFRA committee will investigate how the government intends to meet its goal of having all soil “managed sustainably” by 2030.

15 December 2022

Government opens consultation

The House of Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee, which scrutinises the administration, spending, and policy of Defra, has launched an inquiry into soil health today.
The Committee is seeking views on the five following questions:

  1. How can the Government measure progress towards its goal of making all soils sustainably managed by 2030? What are the challenges in gathering data to measure soil health and how can these barriers be overcome?
  2. Do current regulations ensure that all landowners/land managers maintain and/or improve soil health? If not, how should they be improved?
  3. Will the standards under Environmental Land Management schemes (ELMs) have sufficient ambition and flexibility to restore soils across different types of agricultural land? What are the threats and opportunities for soil health as ELMs are introduced?
  4. What changes do we need to see in the wider food and agriculture sector to encourage better soil management and how can the Government support this transition?
  5. What does the UK Government need to do to tackle other stressors on soil health such as soil contamination?

The government deadline for submissions is 5 February 2023.

Read MPs launch inquiry into soil health - Committees - UK Parliament for more details from the EFRA Committee.

Read the NFU’s Foundation of Food Soils report

The NFU wants to hear from you

We want to hear your feedback on the questions above, to contribute to the NFU’s written evidence that will be submitted to the EFRA committee.

Send us your views by 20 January via email: [email protected]

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  • The NFU Environment team accepted evidence until 20 January 2023.
  • This inquiry closed on 5 February 2023.