Plant Your Pants this spring – to see what’s going on ‘down there’!

PEOPLE in Dorset, Somerset and Wiltshire are being urged to plant their pants – yes, pants – this spring, to reveal how healthy their soil is.

The Plant Your Pants campaign, run by education charity The Country Trust, launches on the first day of spring – March 20 – and invites everyone to take part in a journey of soil discovery to find out what really is going on ‘down there’.

Along the way, partici-pants will be encouraged to look, touch, listen to and smell their soil.

Healthy soil will break down or degrade cotton more quickly than soil with low levels of microbial life, so if you’re left with just the elastic of your planted pants, it’s a good sign that your soil is active and healthy.

The Country Trust is an education charity that connects disadvantaged children with the land that sustains us all through hands-on, sensory experiences of food and farming.

The national Plant Your Pants campaign is simple – just plant a pair of (ideally pre-loved) cotton pants in soil on or around the first day of spring in March, and then dig them up eight weeks later to see what has happened to them.

Jill Attenborough, the Trust CEO, said: “We all depend on soil for our existence but as Leonardo Da Vinci said 500 years ago, ‘We know more about the movement of celestial bodies than about the soil underfoot’.

“The response to Plant Your Pants last year exceeded all our expectations, and we can’t wait to get the nation planting pants again.

“It’s our mission as a charity to enable tens of thousands of disadvantaged children every year to discover that what we eat and grow affects our own health and the health of our planet, through inspiring, transformative visits and activities.

“Plant Your Pants is a way of sharing that experience with everyone – young and old, gardeners, non-gardeners, whether you have a window box, a flowerbed or a veg patch.

“Gardeners, like farmers, have a big responsibility as stewards of this amazing world beneath our feet, and we hope that through participation in Plant Your Pants, we can all experience the excitement of discovery and find out more about how small changes can make a big difference.”

Tom Fairfax, a regenerative organic farmer based in Northumberland who hosts Country Trust Farm Discovery school visits and is a Plant Your Pants campaign champion, said: “Healthy soil is teeming with life, much of which can’t be seen by the naked eye, so getting our hands in the soil and seeing the way it acts on a pair of cotton pants is a brilliant way to experience its magic.

“We have ignored the soil for too long and this has had a negative impact, not only on the environment, but also the quality of the food grown in it and our health.

“We all have a role to play in improving our soil, all we have to do is open our senses to the ground around us and listen to what it has to tell us.”

It is free to register to take part in Plant Your Pants and add yours to the interactive map. Find out more – and register – at

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