Join Us for World Soil Day!

One teaspoon of good garden soil contains millions of bacteria, metres of fungal hyphae, thousands of protozoa, and dozens of nematodes. Imagine how much life is in your whole growing space! Image: www.soil-net.com CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 UK

What’s on for World Soil Day (Links below)

From December 1–8, GROW Observatory, joined by communities in our GROW Places, will be celebrating World Soil Day to promote healthy soils and sustainable management of soil resources! We’re hosting real life events and sharing lots of relevant information on line to address soil pollution and promote soil health.

5 December

Launch: By the Code of Soil — an online networked digital artwork developed by Kasia Molga and Scanner, working with the GROW Observatory. Find out more on the Code of Soil website

14:00–19:30 (CET): #GROWSoilHealth — GROW Place Portugal: Celebra o Dia do Solo na HortaFCUL!

15:00–16:00 (GMT) [16.00–17.00 (CET)]: Webinar: “Citizen Science: From Data to Action

Join this Webinar to discover how citizen-generated data on soils, food and a changing climate can create positive change in the world.

18:30–20:30 (GMT): #GROWSoilHealth — GROW Place Scotland:Seeding the Change filmshow

19:00–22:00 (CET): #GROWSoilHealth — GROW Place Luxembourg: Le Sol Vivant

> Here is an overview of our events in the days around world soil day too. In Ireland, Greece, Luxembourg, Scotland, Hungary and more!

If you are joining one of our events from 1–8 December, or doing an activity at home, don’t forget to let us know about it! Post it on social media with #GrowSoilHealth and tag us @GROWObservatory. Happy World Soil Day!

Background: World Soil Day and Stop Soil Pollution

Charles Kellogg once said, “Each soil has had its own history. Like a river, a mountain, a forest or any natural thing, its present condition is due to the influences of many things and events of the past.”

In our everyday life, most people don’t notice the land that we stand in, the land that grows our food and nourishes other life forms. But while many take it for granted, soils are incredibly important — it is the skin of the Earth.

On a global scale, around 10–20% of drylands and 24% of the world’s productive lands are degraded. The European Union is losing 970 million tonnes of soil per year due to water erosion alone.


Soil pollution, which is the presence of toxic chemicals in high concentration, has also become a big problem. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has called this a “hidden danger” that poses a threat to human health and the ecosystem.

There are a number of causes of soil pollution, and most are in our power to change. These include chemical use, industrial activities such as mining and manufacturing, agrochemicals such as fertilizers and pesticides, livestock and municipal waste, and petroleum-derived products.

This endangers our food security by reducing crop yields and making food crops unsafe for consumption.

Other GROW Activities you can do!

> You can make an Earthworm hotel

> Test your soil Acidity and Alkalinity while making a lemonade

>Read more about soil

Soil health is important for us and for our ecosystem. If you are joining one of our events or doing an activity at home, don’t forget to let us know about it! Post it on social media with #GrowSoilHealth and tag us @GROWObservatory. Happy World Soils Day!