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Soil is a vital resource that sustains life and provides crucial ecosystem services to Wales.

First published:
14 July 2022
Last updated:


Soil is a vital resource that sustains life and provides crucial ecosystem services to Wales.

These services include:

  • food and fibre production
  • water regulation
  • contributions to climate regulation
  • enhancing biodiversity

Our soil is under threat due to:

  • climate change
  • our withdrawal from the EU
  • future land use change

We need evidence-based soil policy to:

  • preserve and enhance this valuable resource
  • help tackle the climate and nature emergencies
  • enhance the environment for future generations

Soil policy statement

A draft soil policy statement is currently under development. It sets out our vision for the sustainable use and management of agricultural soils for future generations.

The soil policy statement identifies what we  need to address to achieve sustainable soil management. We will develop these objectives by

  • reviewing current evidence
  • engaging with internal and external soil stakeholders

We are currently inviting stakeholders from the farming community to participate in shaping the policy statement - Tell us your views on how to manage soils.

Review of Welsh soil evidence

We are producing a review of Welsh soil evidence from many sources including:

Soils in Wales are high in carbon. The dominant grassland systems are generally considered low risk to soil degradation. Soil carbon and biodiversity loss, soil erosion and compaction can occur in areas where:

  • there is inappropriate land management
  • land use has changed

In the future, climate change is likely to impact soils. So, the drivers for land use change will become more intense. But there are opportunities as some of these changes can have positive impacts on:

  • the climate
  • food security
  • the environment

Soil Policy Evidence Programme

The Soil Policy Evidence Programme:

  • contains policy-relevant reviews and assessments of the condition of our soil and land
  • considers the current and future effects of agricultural management and climate change on soils

The Review of Welsh soil evidence will provide an overview of the main outcomes from the reports.