Soil is made up of a mixture of organic material and minerals and develops over very long periods of time. The organic matter comes from dead plants and many of the minerals come from the rocks underground.

Soil is teeming with life and is essential for food and animal feed production, for growing timber, for protecting groundwater and for storing carbon.

From the information available we can say that Irish soil quality is good.  This is partly due to our grassland agriculture and partly because we do not have a history of heavy industry here. Information on soil quality is scarce however, when compared to air and water quality, and this essential resource is often taken for granted.  

There are about 2,000 locations around the country with localised soil contamination such as old mine sites, gas works and abandoned landfills but these are generally confined to small areas.

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