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Soil strategy

The new Soil Strategy for England sets out an ambitious vision to improve the sustainable management of soil and tackle degradation within 20 years. It covers a range of sectors including agriculture, land management, planning and construction and provides a strategic framework for action that should facilitate Defra’s work with delivery partners.

Building on the First Soil Action Plan for England (2004-2006), the aim is to ensure that England’s soils are better protected and managed – to optimise the varied and important functions they perform so that, amongst other things, we maintain a sustainable food supply and develop resilience to a changing climate.

The focus is on four main themes: the sustainable use of agricultural soils; the role of soils in mitigating and adapting to climate change; protecting soil functions during construction and development; and preventing pollution and dealing with historic contamination.

An Evidence Paper has also been published online to support the Soil Strategy and provide a more detailed analysis of the evidence on why soils are important and the pressures being faced.

Finally, you may want to consider the Impact Assessment that accompanies the new Soil Strategy.


Defra issued a public consultation on the draft Soil Strategy for England on 31 March 2008, and responses have been taken into account in the final Strategy.

Further information

Visit the National Archives website for further information on the Soil Action Plan, including the:

  • Final Report of progress
  • Interim annual reports
  • Soil Action Plan Advisory Forum
    • Meeting papers
    • Newsletters
    • Members

Page last modified: 24 September 2009