The South West England Soils Discussion Group (SWESDiG) was set up in 1975 to stimulate interest in the study of soils in the Region, and provide a means whereby individuals from different institutions and fields of activity can meet to discuss problems and topics of common interest.Membership of the group is free. Meetings are organised on an ad hoc basis on selected themes relevant to the wider study of soils, land use and the environment in the South West.
Group Chair: Dr Martin Blackwell
Group Secretary: Dr Rob Parkinson
Firstly, thanks to all who came to our May meeting. I was unable to attend but hear it was an interesting day with plenty of valuable discussion. Keep an eye out in the Auger soon for a write-up of the event...
“See you tomorrow,” creaks the laboratory door. The day’s work is complete. Those two great shepherds – fatigue and hunger – slowly steer my colleagues and I away from the department and into the warmth of a summer’s evening.
Soils are crucial for sustainable development and healthy soils are central to achieving many of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
With keynote speakers, including Dr Cheryl Palm from the University of Florida, addressing issues such as Soils and Food Security, Climate Change and Health and Water Quality, the British Society of Soil Science 2018 Annual Conference will provide an opportunity to deliberate and discuss these critical topics.
Just a quick reminder about our Spring Meeting this Thursday (https://www.soils.org.uk/event/1469): if you are planning to come, please ensure you REGISTER ASAP using the link above so that the organisers know numbers for catering and chairs, etc. The event is free of charge for BSSS members, and £10 for non-members.
The weather forecast looks good so we hope lots of you will be able to make it for an interesting day.
Calling all members in Cornwall!
We have had a request from a farm near Lizard, Helston, asking whether a soil scientist would be able to join them on Open Farm Sunday to talk about soils. If you would be interested in doing this, please contact Leila.Froud@adas.co.uk for more information.
Firstly an apology. We have been having some trouble with the regional email address, so if you have sent an email recently to SWSDG@soils.org.uk, I recommend that you resend it. Things are now up and running and I will be able to see incoming emails and will do my best to respond as quickly as possible.
More excitingly, do you have our upcoming events in your diary?
“Shoulders of upland brown laid dark to the sunset’s bosom, | Living amber of wheat, and copper of new-ploughed loam, | Downs where the white sheep wander, little gardens in blossom, | Roads that wind through the twilight up to the lights of home.” [E. Nesbit, Out of the fulness of the heart].
Dear South Western Soil Scientists,
Open Farm Sunday is happening on Sunday 10th June 2018.
“LEAF Open Farm Sunday, managed by LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming), is one of the farming industry’s biggest success stories. Since the first Open Farm Sunday in 2006, over 1000 farmers across the UK have opened their gates and welcomed people onto their farm for one Sunday each year. It is a fantastic opportunity for everyone, young and old, to discover at firsthand what it means to be a farmer and the fabulous work they do producing our food and managing the countryside.”
This meeting will build on the Autumn 2017 meeting where we looked at soil structure on light soils. Here we will assess soil structure on heavy soils at Bickenhall Farm.
Two assessment methods will be used to compare and contrast. These will be Visual Evaluation of Soil Structure (VESS) and Visual Soil Assessment (VSA).
Arrive at Neroche Hall - 10am
Lunch will be provided
Depart by 4pm
We will spend most of the day outside so bring sturdy shoes and clothes appropriate for the weather. You may also wish to bring a spade.
A total of 5 BASIS CPD points have been given to this meeting: (2 - Crop Protection, 2 -Environment & 1 - Personal Development) so please make sure you have your membership number with you and sign the relevant form on the day.
BSSS Members may attend the meeting FREE of charge whilst Non Members will be required to pay £10.00.
Please note that everyone attending the meeting will need to register in advance to enable us to accurately organise catering and seating.
BOOKING IS NOW CLOSED
Happy Springtime everyone,
Tunnelling a passageway through the soil, furnishing our beds and borders with elegance and vitality is a floral promise. A promise of longer days, and lighter evenings; a promise to banish the clouds and cast off the rain. This promise, once dormant under thick clods of earth, now stands tall and dainty; a yellow delicacy swaying to the music of Springtime...