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Today on my allotment when I was potting up 25 courgette plants kindly donated by Wendy for our community planting project, I spied some bees “dancing” around the mulch on the adjacent plot. What went through my mind as a bee advocate, was whether I should encourage the plot holders to get the mulch moved ASAP before the bees took up residence?
Then this evening I watched a talk by one of my hero’s Paul Stamets Wow.
“Bees are attracted to rotting logs specifically for their immunilogical benefit as part of their host defense for their immunity, they are not going to a rotting log just because they want to be on a rotted log, there is species specificity here, they can up-regulate their immune system, give them a host defense anti viral shield, allow them to detoxify toxins and allow them to be better pollinators, 30% of our food is directly pollinated by bees and 70% of our food is controlled by pollinators.”

I was wrong about the bees looking for a new home and this video brought me back to reality as to why I use a no dig, mulching system that encourages slugs and snails to eat my plants..its all about the mycellium and its good to share right? Two thirds for me and one third for the wildlife (getting there lol)
Watch this video…it might just blow your mind!

Free Online Course About Soils


Soils: Introducing the World Beneath Our Feet

Learn about soils, the variety of life they contain and how humans impact this fragile system, with this free online course.

Free Online Course About Soils

About the course

Soils are a vital part of our planet’s functioning, but all too often we take soils for granted. In this free online course, we introduce you to soils and explore the world beneath our feet.

Get an introduction to soil science

Soils are a fantastically complex environment, teeming with life and supporting our most fundamental environmental processes. However, they are increasingly under threat and our soil resource is a finite one.

Starting from what soil is and how soils form we will take a journey through the soil, not just learning about the basics of soil science but also about life in the soil.

Then we will look at why soil is so important and investigate the topic of soil security – a topic relevant to the past and present.

Finally we will learn about how and why soils are under threat both at a local and global scale. Throughout this course we will ask questions such as:

  • What is soil made of?
  • Why are soil microbes so important?
  • How does the rise and fall of civilisations depend on soils?
  • How is climate change impacting on soils?

You will also get the chance to get your hands dirty with a series of activities aiming to give you practical experience of assessing soil properties and conditions.

Understand soil from a physical, chemical and biological perspective

By the end of this course, you will have a basic understanding of soil science from a physical, chemical and biological perspective.

You will have met researchers, who will tell you about cutting-edge soil science research at Lancaster University and elsewhere, and had an insight into how some of the threats to soils could be addressed in the future.

This course is open to anyone and is part of FutureLearn Choices – a collection of courses to bridge the gap between school and higher education, and help young adults choose the right degree or career.



This course is aimed at anyone with an interest in soils, biology, geography and environmental science. No prior knowledge is required but will be of particular interest to sixth formers and undergraduates studying these subjects.

Get a personalised, printed certificate

You can buy a Statement of Participation for this course — a personalised, printed certificate to show that you’ve taken part.