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The Royal Countryside Fund and McDonald’s UK & Ireland launch Savings in Soil

The Royal Countryside Fund has announced a new programme, Savings in Soil, sponsored by McDonald’s UK & Ireland. Starting this summer, the programme will help livestock farmers in Herefordshire, Norfolk and Northumberland to understand more about the practical ways soil health can help save money on farm.


Soil is the foundation of any farm and is a fundamental asset; efficient management of soil health can produce better yields, improve animal welfare and ensure a healthier environment – all of which can result in financial benefits for farm businesses.


Savings in Soil will look at practical ways to manage and improve soil health and grassland to maximise agricultural efficiency and environmental opportunities. In addition to this, the sessions will introduce ideas linked to regenerative agriculture, such as the role of herbal leys, reduced movement and disturbance, and touch on carbon sequestration opportunities.


‘Healthy soil is the foundation of a sustainable and profitable farm,’ said Keith Halstead, executive director at The Royal Countryside Fund. ‘With support from our partners at McDonald’s UK & Ireland, we aim to equip farming families seeking a sustainable future with the knowledge and tools to help them enhance their soil health and improve grassland management, leading to cost savings and better environmental outcomes.’


Hetty Gittus, agriculture and sustainable sourcing manager at McDonald’s UK & Ireland, said: ‘We are proud to be working with The Royal Countryside Fund, collating and sharing knowledge to support farmers on their journey towards fully understanding and improving their approach to soil health. Healthy soils are critical for sustainable food production, and as part of our Plan for Change strategy we are committed to improving the economic resilience of farming families and to supporting the future of British farming through environmental initiatives like Savings in Soil.’


The programme will be delivered by Farm Carbon Toolkit, with whom The Royal Countryside Fund previously partnered to deliver its Carbon Clarity programme. For over a decade, Farm Carbon Toolkit has worked to further the understanding of greenhouse gas emissions in agriculture, helping to inform and enable farmers to improve their environmental impacts, increase farm energy resilience and future proof their business.


Each area will also be coordinated by local farming organisations to provide a tailored programme for each landscape: Herefordshire Rural Hub, Norfolk Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group, and independent consultant Tom Burston in Northumberland. With workshops, training on different tests to measure soil health and help inform future decisions as well as field demonstrations, Savings in Soil will allow farmers to engage with experts, share their experiences and foster a collaborative learning environment.




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