Improved Soil Health 

Exploring the adoption of different soil management techniques, to optimise productivity

Innovative in its participatory approach, the PROSOIL project was launched in 2009 at the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS). By actively working with commercial development farmers, the project has achieved an impact on commercial farming practice across Wales, by increasing farmers’ awareness of the importance of soil health.

Led by Dr Christina Marley in collaboration with the IBERS Grassland Development Centre (GDC), an extension team managed by Dr Heather McCalman, the PROSOIL project helps commercial development farmers, including dairy, beef & sheep producers, to increase the quality of forage available to their livestock.

Agricultural events and shows across the UK and development farm open days, allow organic and conventional producers to engage in knowledge transfer and active participatory learning with the agricultural community and the wider public. A popular interactive feature of the IBERS stand at the Royal Welsh Show and Winter Fair, the project also aims to build up the PROSOIL network of farmers whose members receive regular newsletters, factsheets and details of up and coming events.

A long-term aim of the project is to study the impact of different soil management approaches on livestock performance and product quality which could improve the financial efficiency of Welsh agriculture in the future.

"Farmers’ experience of participation has led to widespread adoption of new techniques, and critically, changes in understanding of the issues around soil management and health"

Independent Evaluator, Miller Research Ltd.


Research Aims

  • Develop new research on soil health and how this impacts on agriculture
  • Linking research to commercial development farms
  • Establish a network and collaboration amongst farmers, producers and stakeholders from the supply chain industry
  • Raise awareness and understanding of the importance of good management practices to maintain soil health
  • Create debate and interest among the agricultural industry


Useful Links

Christina Marley - Staff Profile

PROSOIL website

PROSOIL twitter account

PROSOIL information sheet

Aberystwyth University News - Modern milk

Aberystwyth University News - Better farming, better environment



Dr Christina Marley
PROSOIL Project Manager
Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences
Aberystwyth University | +44 (0)1970 82 3084