Charles Dowding: Biodiversity & No Dig is a video in which Charles explains his ethos and methods that increase yields and soil biodiversity.

Soil is at the heart of growing most of the crops we rely on for food and other vegetable related products. And in recent years we have started to realise how soils can be degraded or enhanced by the way we treat them.

Charles Dowding
Charles Dowding

Treated well, soils can provide increased yields, increase biodiversity and sequester carbon. In recent years No Dig gardening has come to the fore. It’s been at the heart of what our guest today, Charles Dowding, has promoted as the way to garden in harmony with nature and in some ways sits alongside Regenerative Agriculture but on a smaller scale.

As Charles recently wrote, “Soil is the most important part of no dig gardening. We don’t disturb it, and encourage biodiversity through feeding all the organisms in soil with compost and other organic matter placed on the surface.”

In this video Charles explains his philosophy and methods to help us better understand how No Dig can help us create more biodiverse gardens.

The soil is quite possibly the most biodiverse part of the planet. Richer in life than the Amazon, the oceans and anywhere else. Yet, though we talk about preserving life and increasing biodiversity, we continue to ravage the soil with ploughs, rotavators, cultivators etc. We do it with no care of the millions of life forms that live in the soil. The fungal threads that are miles long and link various plants together; the millions of bacteria, many which are essential for plant life; soil diatoms, tardigrades, aracheae, protozoa, actinomycetes, algae; as well as the larger springtails, nematodes, earthworms, ants and other insects that live in the soil. Further up the food chain are the burrowing animals, from wasps, bees and mice to foxes and badgers. All these life forms are critical if the soil is to support life. Without soil our planet is dead and so are we.

Without this microcosm of life the soil is dead. It is only composed of inorganic chemical elements and pulverised rock. To support life, soil needs to be full of life. So we need to nurture our soils rather than desecrate them.

This event was jointly run by the Sid Valley Biodiversity Group (SVBG) and Thanks to Sidmouth Town Council for their support and to Jon Frost for his help in running the event.

Link to video

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2 thoughts on “Charles Dowding: Biodiversity & No Dig

  1. Alan Gregg says:

    A very informative talk by Charles. I learnt more about no dig gardening and the importance compost plays in the growing of vegetables using the No dig system. Looking forward to hearing more. Bring him back again Stefan.

    1. Stefan Drew says:

      Thanks Alan

      He is a good speaker and even better practitioner. And all learnt from the common sense application of what he has seen and heard around him.

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