Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in workshop, seminar, course


Soil is an essential, non-renewable resource that contributes to basic human needs, food production, water cycles, and is a major biomass reserve. Soils teem with life. Yet, they are too often considered an inert material which gets scraped, displaced, polluted, and sealed. The built environment contributes greatly to these practices.

In 2023, ESALA Climate Action curated a SOIL FESTIVAL to explore how we can learn to better think with soils. The festival included the following events:

Earth Building Workshop (CLIMASCORE 3)
Becky Little and Rowland Keable from Earth Building UK and Ireland (EBUKI) facilitated a workshop providing an introduction to building with earth and fibres, with both presentations and hands-on experiments to understand earth materials, techniques, and traditions.

Constructed Soils (CLIMASCORE 4)
Malcolm Coull, researcher at the James Hutton Institute, provided a practical introduction to how we can make soils from waste materials. Through the test-making of these technosoils, the legislative and ecological complexities which arise from this human-made growing medium were discussed.

An Introduction to Natural Materials (CLIMATALK 1)
Anna Gidman from Architects Climate Action Network (ACAN) delivered a talk which included a broad introduction to natural building materials through which we learnt about natural materials including hemp, straw, earth, lime and timber, and how to use them in construction projects.

Peatland Walk-shop (CLIMATALK 1)
(Re)Peat invited ESALA staff and students to a reflective walk-shop to think about the relationship between people and peatland. As we spent time in Red Moss raised bog (on the edge of the Pentland Hills), peatland was discussed as an active landscape collaborator and we learnt more about what we can do for peatlands.
Period24 Feb 202323 Mar 2023
Event typeConference
LocationEdinburgh, United KingdomShow on map
Degree of RecognitionLocal


  • Soil
  • Care
  • Thinking with