Dr Eleanor Reed and Chris Stapleton
October 2021

IES/BSSS: The role of EIAs in promoting healthy soils

Photo of land, half is muddy soil, half is fresh healthy grass.

This webinar was held in collaboration with the British Society of Soil Science, which explored how Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) can promote and support soil health.

There is increasing recognition of the vital role of healthy soils in promoting healthy ecosystems and biodiversity. Soils provide myriad ecosystem services; healthy soil is a fundamental component of producing the food we eat, supporting nutrient cycling, sequestering carbon, regulating the water cycle etc. and is therefore essential to sustaining plant and animal life. The impact of new developments on soil quality, in terms of land use changes and soil displacement, must be determined and mitigated against. Soil health must, therefore, be incorporated into EIAs in an effective way.

Our panel of experts explored the following topics:

  •  How are soils currently covered by EIAs?
  • The importance of healthy soils and why they should be included in EIAs
  •  How can we support professionals to incorporate soil health into environmental statements