Know Your Soils #1: Meet the bugs!

Soilmentor app consortium (featuring video by Catchment Sensitive Farming & Innovation for Agriculture)
July 2018
Creative Commons Licence
Applied research
Related theme: 
Key Farming Practices: 
Soil monitoring

View the website

Resource explained: 

From the Soilmentor team, this is the first of a twelve part series called  'Know your Soils'. The series includes practical tips for monitoring soil health and simple tests you can do on your land, in the form of videos and fact sheets. The first post, linked above, highlights a video from the ‘Learning from the Land’ series created by Catchment Sensitive Farming and Innovation for Agriculture. In the video, Matthew Shepherd, Soil Biodiversity Specialist for Natural England, talks about a test you can do to understand the activity of creatures in the ground and how they indicate and impact the properties of your soil. You can also access information on the page that tells you what equipment you would need to carry out the test yourself, and links to other useful information.


Findings & recommendations: 
  • There are billions of organisms in the soil - however the ones you can see i.e. the soil mesofauna, will tell you things about how the soil is functioning; how rapidly the nutrients turn over, the sort of materials that are going into the soil and how disturbed the soil is.
  • The video shows step by step instructions of how you can sieve your soil to assess the animals in it and what they might tell you about your soil.
Summary provided by: 
Janie Caldbeck