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CPRE Norfolk Trustee gives talk on the importance of soil

CPRE Norfolk
By CPRE Norfolk
15th March 2023

CPRE Norfolk Trustee, Dr Pallavi Devulapalli gave a talk on the topic of soil at Necton Village Hall on Wednesday, 1 March at the invitation of the Dereham and District Tangent Club. 

Dr Devulapalli spoke about the importance of soil as a source of life on earth and of our food, as the single largest ecosystem, and as a significant carbon and water store. She highlighted disastrous soil losses, occurring at a such high rates due to the loss of soil organic matter (SOM), which is in turn leading to desertification and erosion.

Soil which is rich in organic matter can act as a water reservoir for the dry seasons and as a flood defence in wet periods, whereas soil devoid of organic matter has very little ability to retain/absorb or store water. Dr Devulapalli demonstrated the properties of soil for the club by means of a simple experiment using items from the kitchen.

How you can help make a difference

Stimulating questions followed the talk, with several people wanting to know what more they could do to help.

The advice was to lobby and be a voice for the soil, to buy peat free compost, compost their own garden and kitchen waste, avoid spraying pesticides, plant for wildlife, garden using no-dig methods, and to support efforts to make government policy reward farmers and landowners for ‘doing the right thing’ for soil health.

The audience of approximately 22 members listened attentively as they were told about the vital work CPRE members and volunteers do in protecting the soil and the countryside.

Julie Rowlatt, a member of the group said ”It was an interesting and thought-provoking talk, that ensured further discussion within our group. The members were happy to donate to the cause – hoping to help the future.” Pallavi was thanked by the Group Chair Yvonne Wilson, who presented her with a cheque for CPRE Norfolk.

Dr Pallavi Devulapalli being thanked by the Group Chair Yvonne Wilson


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Audience at the talk at the Tangent Club