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Scientists from the British Geological Survey and NRM Laboratories have found a novel way of using soil data to assess soil fertility. Maps show that the pattern of more acidic soils – which can reduce soil fertility – increasingly reflect geology and typical rainfall patterns across England and Wales. In recent years, less agricultural lime has been added to farmers’ fields to neutralise soil acidity.
The UK has had less rainfall than usual over the winter, and the south and south-east have been particularly dry meaning that the risk of a drought is increased. New maps published by the BGS illustrate that people in the south and south-east of England are especially reliant on groundwater for their water supply and this provides some resilience to drought.
FAQs about BGS research for journalists and policy makers