Save our soils! The Blue Finger Alliance is a campaign for the protection of good soil as part of resilient local food systems. In Bristol our best agricultural soil (the Blue Finger) is vulnerable to damaging development.
Soil vitality and availability are essential, foundational components of a healthy, sustainable food system and we're trying to find ways for Bristol to protect it's best soils and land of food systems value.
The Network/Alliance was set up in 2012 and is concentrated in the Bristol area but with connections across the UK. It is steadily growing. Current supporters include the Bristol Food Policy Council, Soil Association, Stapleton and Ashley Vale Allotments Associations, Avon WIldlife Trust, Sims Hill Shared Harvest, Edible Futures, the Better Food Company, Beacon Lane Starter Farm and the Bristol Pound FarmLink scheme.
Land for food isn't recognised in the UK planning system. Our work is about changing that and enabling a significant up-scaling of sustainable agricultural production as part of a sustainable local food system.
Currently, the campaign is focussed on a long piece of Grade 1 Agricultural land in north-east Bristol known as The Blue Finger (Grade 1 is blue on Agricultural classification maps). Grade 1 is rare (less than 3% in the UK) and is the highest quality soil there is for food production. It is most resilient to climate fluctuations and rich in nutrients and beneficial organisms. Grade 1, 2 and 3a are collectively known as 'Best and Most Versatile' land. This was once protected for food growing but is no longer. This incredible soil is vulnerable to destructive development with a Park & Ride and road building being planned for the Blue Finger in Bristol.
Please follow our blog on www.bluefingerfood.wordpress.com to see how you can support this work. Also, see the film and vision on our website www.bluefingeralliance.org.uk. Thanks!