The Soil Association is calling on smallholders, allotmenteers and gardeners to come to the aid of soil this World Soil Day.

One third of the world’s arable soils are degraded and 75% of that is severely degraded.

It can take a thousand years for just one centimetre of topsoil to form and the world is losing the equivalent of 30 football pitches of fertile soil every minute. We have reached the point of no return and to save our soil we need.

Helen Browning, CEO of the Soil Association said: “We need policymakers to start taking soils seriously, but we can't do this without farmers, gardeners and allotment growers like you, raising the profile of this fundamental issue.”

Erosion, flooding, climate change and loss of soil fertility have all played a part in the degradation of the world's soil. By caring for a small patch of soil such as the allotment, a field or a small garden, everyone can contribute to saving the soil says Ms Browning.

Ben Raskin, the Soil Association’s head of horticulture, Ben Raskin advises the following to improve soil quality.

1. Don't be too tidy, don't cut back or sweep up too often. Leaves and plants add to soil organic matter and improve the health of the soil.

2. Rotations, rotating plants improves soil quality and fertility.

3. Composting to put as much organic matter into the soil as possible.

4. Disturb soil as little as possible so don't walk on the soil if it is wet and don't dig the soil unless necessary.

5. Grow soil saving plants such as clover, legumes and trees