Hands on soil Hands on soil

How Planting Your Pants can save our soil

8 February 2023

Here at the Country Trust, we’re encouraging everyone to get involved with our national campaign to Plant Your Pants to discover the health of our soil throughout England and Wales - contributing to how we protect our soil and life on earth for years to come.

And we need you!


Soil & its Superpowers

Soil has many superpowers and without it, life as we know it would not exist. Main contributions of soil (The Royal Society, 2020):

  • Plant/food growth
  • Water purification
  • Flood & drought prevention
  • Climate regulation
  • Medication development

Yet we only know a microbial amount to what can be discovered – imagine what it could provide us if we knew more about it!


Fact: Only about 1% of microorganisms found in soil have been identified so far (Soil Association)


The Concern for Our Soil

As we use a third of our land to feed and clothe people on the planet, research has shown we may be facing soil extinction.

Soil needs at least 3-6% of organic content to be alive. Unfortunately, in over 75% of Europe, organic content is found to have less than 2% (Environment Agency). According to experts, if we revive our soil by helping it to reach 3-6% organic matter we can reverse the damage and:

  • Support climate change
  • Secure nutritious food
  • Support biodiversity
  • Balance water cycles
  • Increase the livelihood of Farmers

(Soil Association)

But we need to act now.


Fact: Every minute we lose the equivalent of 30 football pitches of fertile soil. (Soil Association)


Supporting Our Soil

By studying our soil, we can identify healthy land and assist land that needs extra support through better and more suitable fertilisers and nutrients. Find out more about supporting our soil here.

Scientists and citizen scientists from all over the world have used this technique to get closer to the soil and learn more about its health in a fun and accessible way.


Plant Your Pants: What you’ll do

1. Plant Your Pants! In a planter, park, football pitch, gardens, and fields – where there’s soil, there is a place to plant your pants.

2. Pants will need to be left in the soil for 8 weeks before you dig them up.

3. After 8 weeks, dig them up! The healthier the soil, the more disintegrated your cotton pants will be.

4. Don't forget to upload your soil journey on our dedicated Plant Your Pants Map and see what other people are getting up to up and down the country. 


What you’ll receive

If you sign up to take part in our Plant Your Pants, you will receive a fantastic FREE activity pack, containing engaging worksheets to allow you and your children to actively get involved in the experience, which you can share on our interactive map!

So, will you join us to help save our soil?

Sign up now for our FREE digital resources and Plant Your Pants Packs (subject to availability and eligibility) to help our future, health and environment and discover why soil is more than mud.

Children planting pants
Children ready to dig up soil
Children holding earthworms
Placing pants in the soil
A stick that says 'soil' in the ground