Welcome to Talamh Beo

Soil Biodiversity Literacy & Enhancement EIP Project

In 2022, Talamh Beo engaged in a Soil Biodiversity Project, which involved 16 farms across Ireland embarking on a year long educational course & experimental investigation. This improved their understanding of how soil functions and offered practical knowledge on how to kick-start sleepy or degraded soils. Participants trialled and documented technical and physical innovations on their farms, and discussed and shared their experiences in a Knowledge Transfer group.

“putting our feet back on healthy ground by growing the biodiversity in our soils”
Bridget Murphy
Project Coordinator

These farms, armed with the knowledge they gained from their soil education courses and the results of their investigations & experiments, have become "Lighthouse Farms", guiding the way for farms in their area to improve their soil and increase yields. Find out more about each farm's journey via our interactive Agri Project Map.

For the best views & interactivity on your mobile device, expand the map using the icon in the bottom right hand corner.

Soil Biodiversity Project Aims

The aim was to bring science closer to citizens while addressing a major societal challenge of our times – loss of biodiversity. The loss of soil biodiversity is degrading our most important natural resource, our soil, and is the reason we chose a focus on the biodiversity beneath our feet.

As farmers on the ground, we understand that the soil is at the beginning and end of almost all farm processes and is a vital resource, not only for our farms, but also for the health and nutrient quality of the food we produce.  We believe it is vital that farmers take an active role in building a better understanding of soil in all its complexity – particularly regarding biological below ground diversity.

Building farmer and wider citizen understanding of the methods and options available for enhancing soil biodiversity is a first step in transitioning our farming to a model which builds soils and improves the quality of the food those soils produce. Above ground biodiversity is inextricably linked to the diversity of our soils, so starting with the soil is truly starting from the ground up.




Soil Biodiversity Project Overview

The 16 participating farms engaged in a soil biodiversity literacy and enhancement project. They undertook an educational component provided by leaders in the field which they applied in real time on test plots on each farm. The test plots covered a range of ecosystems and soil types and conditions over several land use practices (horticulture, tillage, pasture grazing, woodland or agroforestry etc) and was located in different water catchment areas (with a good geographic spread).

Soil Biodiversity Literacy and Enhancement EIP

Technical innovations (including bioNutrient meters) and physical innovations (e.g. soil biological activators, mineral amendments, biochar, green manure, compost, compost teas, inoculants etc) were trialled and documented by farmers and the experiences discussed and shared by participants in a Knowledge Transfer (KT) group, facilitated by Farm Advisor & KT Group Facilitator John Brennan. The project was supported on the ground by a soil scientist.

The project was recorded in real time and interested farmers and citizens can watch and learn from the farm walks via the video links each farm’s profile. You can find the farm profile links here to learn more. 

meet our eip soil biodiversity

Project Participants

Find out more about our project participants and their farms. Follow their journey, see their results and learn how they benefitted from their EIP Soil Biodiversity Project participation.

Soil Biodiversity Project Report

As the EIP project formally concludes with this final report, we at Talamh Beo are profoundly grateful to the individuals and groups who have played instrumental roles in realising this project. Your steadfast support, unwavering dedication and collaborative spirit have transformed this venture into not just a success, but a deeply heartening experience.

This journey has been transformative, not just for the soil, land and the farmers, but for all of us who have been part of it. The seeds of change we have sown together will continue to flourish, reminding us that when we come together, incredible things can be achieved. Thank you for being a part of this extraordinary ongoing adventure.

Bridgi Murphy, Project Manager

Soil Biodiversity Literacy and Enhancement EIP

Our Funding Partners

The Soil Biodiversity Literacy and Enhancement project is an EIP (European Innovation Partnership) project being administered by The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. The Project is funded by the EU Recovery Instrument Funding under the Rural Development Programme 2014-2022