Finding and sharing solutions to

protect our soils

Europe's soil research hub

Who is RECARE-Hub for?

Farmers & Forestry

RECARE-Hub contains the latest information on preventing soil threats, and cost-benefit analysis on proven remediation techniques.


Discover innovative sustainable land management measures that can combat threats to key soil functions.

Policy makers

Find out more about land care strategies relevant to your region and our integrated assessment of existing soil related policy.


Access a wealth of European research data on soil threats and the efficacy of land care strategies.

Teachers & environmentalists

Whether you're a teacher or a concerned environmentalist, find out why Europe's soils are under threat and what researchers are doing to help combat the problems.

Resources designed for you


The soil that underpins Europe's agricultural systems faces numerous threats.

If you are interested in learning about specific soil threats, you can explore the individual threats below. If you want detailed guidance for assessing soil degradation or learning about management measures to prevent and remediate against soil degradation, you might want to head straight over to RECARE's resources.



Work packages


The RECARE project is divided into 11 work packages (WP) each with their own set of goals, tasks and deliverables.


Work package No.  Work package title  Lead partner
 WP 1 Project management  Wageningen University
 WP 2  Providing the base for RECARE  regarding data collection and  methods  Bioforsk, the Norwegian Institute for  Agricultural and Environmental Research
 WP 3

 State of degradation and  conservation in the RECARE Case  Study sites 

Technical University of Crete
 WP 4  Stakeholder participation and  valuation  Centre for Development and Environment  CDE, University of Bern
 WP 5  Selection of promising prevention,  remediation and restoration  measures  ISRIC World Soil Information
 WP 6  Testing and demonstration of    prevention, remediation   UAVR, University of Aveiro, Portugal
 WP 7  Costs, benefits and adoption of  prevention, remediation and  restoration measures  University of Leeds
 WP 8  Applicability and effects of measures  European level   Research Institute for Knowlegde  Systems  B.V. (RIKS)
 WP 9  Policy analysis and recommendations  Ecologic Institute
 WP 10  Data use, management, and hosting  Joint Research Centre of the European  Commission
 WP 11  Dissemination and communication  University of Gloucestershire, UK


 WP 1 Project management

The overall objective of WP1 is two-fold: 1) to ensure proper activity management of the project, 2) to streamline any administrative, financial, legal and IP (Intellectual Property) issues in order to enable RTD partners to focus on their research activities. Specific sub-objectives are:

1. Activity management to facilitate smooth operation of the project objectives by supporting the coordinator, WP
leaders and other partners, and compiling the periodic activity reports
2. To handle all the financial, administrative and legal matters of the consortium
3. Address gender equality issues in the project
4. To ensure good communication within the project, and to parties outside the consortium
5. To organize plenary project meetings and to facilitate the organization of Scientific Board meetings

WP 2 Providing the base for RECARE regarding data collection and  methods

• To achieve an improved overview of existing information on soil degradation at the European scale
• To assess the influence of climate and human activities upon regulating key soil properties, soil functions and ecosystem services
• To provide a base for RECARE’s data collection and methods in the Case Study sites

WP 3 State of degradation and  conservation in the RECARE Case  Study sites

The objectives of this WP are:
• Assembling existing data and information on each of the RECARE Case Study sites, including spatial information, as needed by other WPs
• Inventory of existing soil degradation assessment methodologies addressing individual soil threats, and selection of the best and most applicable ones for use in RECARE Case Study sites
• Development of a harmonized methodology to determine the state of degradation and conservation, that is universally applicable and covering all soil threats
• Determining the extent and severity of soil degradation and conservation using the newly developed harmonized methodology
• Preparation of degradation and conservation maps for each Case Study area

WP 4 Stakeholder participation and  valuation

The main objective of WP4 is to ensure that the trans-disciplinary approach of RECARE is fully implemented and that stakeholders (including, land managers, food producers, developers, industry, regulators, advisory services, authorities and experts) are actively involved throughout the project. This includes the development and application of a methodology in order to connect stakeholders to the project, to enable stakeholder learning, and valuation of ecosystem services resulting from degradation and from prevention, remediation and restoration measures, at the local as well as at the (sub-) national level.

WP 5 Selection of promising prevention, remediation and restoration measures

To identify and select promising prevention, remediation and restoration measures to combat degradation, adapted to the local context.

WP 6 Testing and demonstration of prevention, remediation and restoration measures

WP6’s overarching goal is to assess the effectiveness of promising measures, selected under WP5, to prevent (further) soil degradation and decline of the (most) threatened soil functions and associated ecosystem servicesand/or to restore these functions and services. More specifically, WP6 aims at:
i) defining and implementing a harmonized monitoring strategy for assessing effectiveness of measures for the full range of soil threats addressed by RECARE, with regard to the state of degradation, as well as effects upon soil functioning and ecosystem services,
ii) quantifying the effectiveness of the selected and implemented soil protection and/or restoration measures, through comparison with untreated and unthreatened conditions,
iii) identifying the key factors and processes explaining the effectiveness of the tested measures, as the basis for up-scaling in WP8, and
iv) demonstrating the viability of measures for private and public stakeholders.

WP 7 Costs, benefits and adoption of  prevention, remediation and  restoration measures

WP7 will study the cost-effectiveness of the implemented measures. The main objectives will be to:
1. Define an appropriate multi-methods approach to assess costs and benefits at the implementation level and entire Case Study level, taking into account the impacts of the measures on ecosystem functions and services
2. Implement the approach for each Case Study with attention to scale, timing and dosage
3. Explore Case Study level preferences for remediation options and evaluation 

WP 8 Applicability and effects of measures at the European level

The main objectives of WP8 are to:
1. Integrate the results obtained by WPs 3-7 in the different Case Studies in order to draw general conclusions for each soil threat and ways to effectively prevent or remediate impacts of such threats
2. Determine to what extent Case Studies contributed to filling knowledge gaps at the European scale
3. Develop and apply a quantitative, spatially explicit model to assess the impact of prevention and remediation measures for different soil threats at the European level

WP 9 Policy analysis and  recommendations

• Carry out an integrated impact assessment of the relevant EU and national policies and strategies addressing (directly or indirectly) soil threats to evaluate their impact on soil protection and to identify gaps and contradictions between these policies
• Develop policy recommendations for improving policy efforts, streamlining policy coherence and integration, and improving institutional coordination
• Promoting implementation of succesfull measures at EU scale

WP 10 Data use, management, and hosting

- Assist RECARE partners to find and access relevant data maintained by partner 13 (JRC), and to use it in GIS and modelling analyses
- Develop a data infrastructure for the RECARE project
- Develop software interface for importing/exporting data for the project partners
- Ensure the proper data management of the project, make the data publicly accessible and maintain the infrastructure beyond the lifetime of the project

WP 11 Dissemination and communication

• Develop an advanced and easy accessible RECARE Dissemination and Communication Hub
• Develop a Dissemination and Communication Strategy based on specified goals and objectives to raise the visibility of the project and to ensure project results reach the intended target audience
• Develop a suite of dissemination products from the research outputs suited to different categories of stakeholders at Case Study, national and European levels



Case Study Sites

 Click on the map below to find out more about RECARE's case study sites
Case Studies

Project Partners


RECARE is multidisciplinary team of 27 different organisations assessing the current threats to Europe's soils and innovative solutions to prevent further soil degradation.

Academic Contact
Professor Coen Ritsema 
Wageningen University
E: coen.ritsema[AT]

Media Contact
Dr Matt Reed
E: mreed[AT]


Funded by the European Commission FP7 Programme, ENV.2013.6.2-4 ‘Sustainable land care in Europe’.

EU grant agreement: 603498.

Project officer: Maria Yeroyanni.

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