Soil carbon and water quality

CPES partner Westcountry Rivers Trust (WRT) has been playing an instrumental role sampling and quantifying Soil Organic Carbon (SOC) in the West Country. The Trust is following the methodology developed by the WRT and partners and written up in a 2020 paper that reflects a collaboration of effort and several years of hard work to reach this point, creating a scientifically robust, easily replicable testing protocol that will place SOC data, knowledge and the ability to act on results in the hands of the farmers.


The Trust is driven to highlight the value of healthy soils and the role they play in catchment management and water quality provision - how the land is managed directly affects the health of our rivers and streams. We seek a holistic approach in our projects: encouraging healthy soils helps to stabilise and reduce erosion and reduces sediment and nutrients reaching our watercourses while supporting a more diverse and sustainable landscape.


As part of this work the Trust has sampled over 60 farms through the CPES project and builds on the Devon and Cornwall Soils Alliance to build capacity and capability in soils advice and monitoring across the region. As part of the CPES project the trust is exploring opportunities through this project to engaged businesses and evaluated means for brokering or facilitating transactions between parties as a result both for water quality and carbon.

Reducing Carbon emissions and increasing Carbon sequestration has never received as much attention as it does now, highlighted by the Climate Emergency, impacts on food supply chains from Coronavirus, and public perception of an increased value of nature, biodiversity, and environmental matters.