Does anyone talk about soil? Yes!
World Soil Day fell on 5 December this year to raise awareness of the importance of maintaining healthy ecosystems and human wellbeing by addressing soil health. We celebrate Soil Week Australia until 12 December.
You are encouraged to watch and share this great short video, “The Soil Story” by Kiss the Ground available on the Soil Week Australia website. It explains the importance of vegetation for soil health and the flow on effect to carbon stores, a hot topic in the media following the recent United National Climate Change Conference (COP26).
The National Trust’s Natural Heritage Program contributes to improving soil health with approximately 180 landholders entered into conservation covenant agreements to protect remnant vegetation on their properties in perpetuity.
The majority of these landholders are farmers who work incredibly hard to make a living alongside challenges, including climate change causing extreme weather events damaging crops (such as fires, floods and droughts) and, in many parts of our state, salinity impoverishing soil caused largely by excessive land clearing.
These challenges also affect covenanted bushland with additional pressures from feral animal and weed invasion altering the species composition of these precious remnants. National Trust stewardship officer Diana Papenfus recently visited a number of covenanted bushland properties east of Quairading. See some photographs below.
Images 1 and 2: Pink everlastings (Waitzia spp) in Wandoo woodland near Koorda
Images 3 and 4. The effects of salinity, which destroys soil structure so it cannot support native vegetation and/or encourages weed species
What can you do this soil week?
Our covenant landholders need your help to combat on-ground threats to their covenanted bushland. If you donate to the Natural Heritage Appeal, the National Trust can assist covenanted landholders with the cost of on-ground management such as weed and feral animal control, infill plantings and fence maintenance which improves the condition of the covenanted bushland remnant and in turn contributes to improving biodiversity.
Do you know a farmer interested in improving their farming practices for more nutritional food as well as contributing to a more sustainable planet ? Why not gift them an excellent book this Christmas by fellow farmer Anika Molesworth. Our Sunburnt Country is available through the Author’s website. You can also direct them to our website for more information about the National Trust’s Covenanting and Stewardship Program.