Course overview

Soil provides society with vital goods and services (e.g. supply of food, fodder and fibre; storage of rainwater, nutrients and carbon; shelter to diverse living organisms; and protection of our buried cultural heritage). The capacity of soil to perform these functions can be undermined by degradation processes such as soil erosion, which occurs when land is used beyond its inherent ‘capability’, (for example when highly erosive crops are grown on highly erodible soils). Exceptional weather events can also trigger erosion.

The loss of soil functions through erosion has direct financial impact on the land economy at every stage along the supply chain in terms of reduced outputs (e.g. crop production (quantity and quality); loss of nutrients and carbon;) and increased inputs needed to rectify any losses (e.g. reseeding costs; additional fertilisers and cultivation operations; increased irrigation demand, higher retail prices for the consumer). These costs justify an investment in erosion risk assessment and erosion mitigation.

Understanding the location, extent and impacts of erosion on-site (e.g. loss of the soil resource in-field) and off-site (e.g. eroded sediment polluting water bodies) is key in targeting effective erosion-control mitigation measures, as are current soil policies at EU (e.g. draft Soil Framework Directive) and national (e.g. Soil Strategy for England) level.

The course is run by academic staff from Cranfield University.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course participants will be able to:

  • Understand the processes of soil erosion, their environmental impacts and the role of current soil policy on management of soil erosion.
  • Evaluate erosion risk in a catchment to identify potential sources and sinks of sediment.
  • Demonstrate the need for erosion mitigation.
  • Recommend mitigation solutions to address specific erosion problems.
Additional Course Information

Areas covered will include:

  • Erosion processes
  • Consequences of erosion (including quantifying the costs of erosion) to justify mitigation measures
  • Erosion risk assessment techniques
  • Principles and practices of erosion mitigation
  • Selection, design and evaluation of appropriate mitigation measures

    Key facts

    Course Dates
    1 day workshop - The workshop can be taken as a stand-alone training day.
    Entry Requirements
    No specialist entry requirements
    IFST Membership
    Your course enrolment also entitles you to one year of free membership to the IFST (Institute of Food, Science and Technology).
    Course Provider
    Cranfield University
    Course Arrangements
    Full joining instructions will be confirmed by the course provider.
    Course Location
    Cranfield University
    Mixed Cohort
    CPD Awarding Body
    CPD Points
    My AFTP training course has given me greater confidence day-to-day and more insight into the impact of new techniques and technologies.
    Andy Russell - Fresh Produce Technologist, Bakkavor

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