Soil is essential for life – it provides nutrients, water and minerals to plants and trees, and is home to millions of insects, bacteria and small animals. Without soil, we would not be able to grow any crops or other useful plants, support any livestock, or have materials for building shelter – soil really is a life-giver! Healthy soils also store and filter water, recycle nutrients and help us to deal with the negative effects of climate change by storing large amounts of carbon. But our soils are at risk; negative actions such as pollution and bad agricultural practices leave our soils exposed and damaged. We need healthy soils to support human well-being and a healthy planet.

This is where the Soils Challenge Badge comes in: let it take you on a journey to discover the ground beneath your feet! This booklet is packed with activities to help you learn about soil and how it is formed, the creatures that live in it, and just how important it is in our everyday lives. You will also discover how YOU can play a role in protecting soils for future generations. We hope you will be inspired to take the challenge and celebrate our planet’s soils. Dig in!

Preparing arguments on the great importance of soils in San Rossore, Italy.
Camp International URUJAM 2015