When was the last time you read about soil in the media? Despite the fact soil brings us 95% of our food, it is taken for granted and poorly treated. In fact, 60-70% of soils in Europe are unhealthy, and around 33% of global soils are degraded. Furthermore, as communications experts, we are acutely aware that soil is currently neglected by The Media, especially when compared with air and water - other key pillars of the environment. Well, we are proud to be helping to change all that!
The not-for-profit, uksoils raises awareness of the rapidly declining health of our soil, and encourages people to promote soil health. Having supported their team since 2020, in 2022 our team got digging even deeper into this fascinating subject to help launch the first ever UK Soils Awareness Week - #UKSAW.
Our communications strategy was designed to bring soils to life in people’s consciousness - be they young or old, urban or rural, a farmer, an environmentalist, a gardener, a pupil or teacher, a policy maker, a journalist, or just someone who is curious about what lies beneath our feet! As our visit to Groundswell in June showed, there is SO much to do to improve soil health, that it’s almost overwhelming. That goes for the policy side as well changes to farming, such as regenerative agriculture, but it all starts with raising soil in our consciousness.
So in October, we reached out to the world’s media and launched a social
media campaign which involved 3 aspects:-
1. The ultimate soils QUIZ: How much do YOU know about soils. Test yourself! e.g. What can we learn about soil by burying underpants and digging them up months later?
2. An ABC of soils - a soil LEXICON - Ever heard of a tardigrade? Do you know about regenerative farming?
3. TOP TIPS to take action on healthy soils - such as reducing your use of single-use plastics.
Our campaign work resulted in a 4 minute interview from Professor Bridget Emmett, soils expert at the UKCEH. This was broadcast live to a global audience of over 100m people (per week) on BBC World News show, 'World Business Report'. It was also seen by viewers in the UK watching BBC One News.
The campaign also secured support from important organisations and individuals, including The National Trust, which has 1.2m followers on instagram alone. Also, by Riverford, Isha Foundation, and the soil-conscious celebrity chef and environment campaigner, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.
We hope to continue to spread the word on the importance of soil health. If we want to save our soils, we need to stop treating them like dirt!
Pictured at soil-loving Yeo Valley's HQ: Our MD, Hannah Kapff, with uksoils Founding Member, Matthew Orman