The major soil threat on the Isle of Purbeck is a loss of soil biological function linked to depleted biodiversity due to persistent physical and chemical manipulation of the land. Large scale manipulation of soil pH for competing agriculture uses has led to heavy lime application for arable land use and subsequent intense sulphur application to reverse such previous alkalinisation for low intensity grazing land. This treatment of the soil has led to a clear loss in microbiological function. Further degrading activities have included extensive recreational use, military disturbance and quarrying. These have all contributed to a loss of biodiversity in the soil to different degrees
The RECARE project will assess the soil functions that have been lost and explore possible interventions, such as inoculation, modified tillage, modified nutrient management and phyto-remediation to reintroduce biodiversity to the soil. On-farm, long-term trials of potential remedial measures will be used be used as demonstration sites during field visits and open days with stakeholders.