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31st March 2023

The UK government has recently confirmed that the ban on peat-based gardening products will not fully be implemented until 2030. Environmental groups, including the Wildlife Trusts, are concerned with the delay as the extraction of peat soils damages wildlife habitats and contributes to carbon emissions. Peat-free alternatives in gardening practices can help to promote soil health and reduce the environmental impact of gardening.

The British Standards Institute (BSI) and Defra are working together on a Nature Investment Standards Programme which aims to provide a standardized framework for investing in nature-based solutions They hope to mobilize private investment for the conservation and restoration of ecosystems while supporting sustainable development, which can improve soil quality and health. 

A new report by the Green Finance Institute discusses the potential for sustainable finance to accelerate the transition to a net-zero economy. The report highlights the need for significant investment in sustainable infrastructure and technologies, including regenerative agriculture and soil health initiatives and concludes that sustainable finance can play a key role in promoting a green recovery and achieving long-term environmental and economic goals.

The UK government has awarded £91.3 million to develop cutting-edge farming technology that will help to reduce emissions and boost food production. The funding will support various projects, including those focused on developing sustainable soil management practices to improve soil health and reduce carbon emissions. 

A new Small Producers Pilot Fund from the Scottish Government aims to support small-scale food and drink producers across Scotland. The funding is intended to help these producers develop their businesses, improve sustainability, and access local markets. This includes support for sustainable soil management practices and other initiatives to improve the long-term viability of small-scale agriculture in Scotland.

A recent study found that farming activities in the UK contribute to over a quarter of the country's particle pollution, which can harm human health. Livestock farming and the use of fertilizers are significant contributors to air pollution in the UK. The study underlines the importance of adopting sustainable farming practices, including strategies that improve soil health and reduce fertilizer use, to reduce emissions and protect the environment.

A plant-based spray-on polymer developed by UK scientists from Cranfield University, in collaboration with several companies, has been found to reduce the "soiling" of fine beans by almost 65 percent when sprayed onto soil surfaces. "Soiling" refers to the buildup of dirt and other contaminants on the surface of beans when grown, which can negatively impact the quality and marketability of the beans. The spray-on-polymer has the potential to reduce the need for harmful pesticides and improve soil health by reducing chemical inputs used in agriculture.

Water has been discovered on the surface of the moon, with billions of tonnes of water found in glass beads in lunar soil. It is suggested that the lunar soil in these areas could potentially be mined for water to support future missions and colonies on the moon. This discovery was made using data from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, which has been orbiting the moon since 2009.