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The Soil Food Web and Equine Health

March 21 @ 9:30 am - 1:30 pm


This 4 hour CPD held onsite in Oxfordshire is aimed at providing attendees with current science and practical assessment of soil health.  You will get a chance to do some practical tests out in the field, and see some composting methods in progress.

This covers discussion and demonstrations as to why it is so important to ensure appropriate types and amounts of bacteria, fungi, protozoa and nematodes in the soil for health grazing and foraging for the horse.  We will also discuss how to generate a healthy food web.

Tom Knowles is a soil scientist, focusing on improving soil health for sustainable non chemical production of crops and grazing for support of the environment and health of grazing animals.  He provides micro-biome soil testing and advises on improvement measures for soil health.   In this CPD, he shares his knowledge, and provides some practical skills for assessing soil and pasture.

Participants also receive a £20 discount on a soil analysis test.  These are normally charged at £50 per test, but students on this course can have up to 4 at £30.


  • Introduction to how soil functions
    • soil biology and the soil food web
    • Biological v Chemical approach
  • Soil management for equine health
    • Q: What problems do you encounter?
    • Healthy soil produces healthy plants
    • Pasture – True proteins (healthy) vs funny sugars (junk food)
  • Soil and Plant testing you can do yourself (in the field) (1hr)
    • Brix testing – sugar content of plants
    • Dig a hole, examine soil
    • Water infiltration testing
  • Example soil microscope analysis
    • what it means – some as a group, potentially individually, depending on numbers
    • comparison with others
  • Some other management suggestions
    • Composting/worm composting
    • Calcium addition
    • Cross grazing with sheep or cattle


March 21
9:30 am - 1:30 pm


Jo Rose
07989 505264
View Organiser Website


Village Farm
Emmington, OX39 4AA United Kingdom + Google Map
07989 505264