A UNIVERSITY professor has told people living in the Tyne Valley how they can play their part in saving the planet.

David Manning, a professor of soil science at Newcastle University, was invited to give a talk to environmental group Hexham Climate Action on the topic of carbon capture, which he claimed can be done in people’s gardens.

He was joined at the event by Andrew Davenport, of Gardener’s Cottage Plants in Bingfield, who backed up the theory through his talk on organic composting.

The concept of carbon capture is to add organic compost and rock materials to the ground to allow the landowner or gardener to improve neglected and depleted soils to provide nutrients and encourage the formation of inorganic carbon materials which lock in carbon.

It was claimed by Prof. Manning that this process, whether in gardens, fields or in inner city brown field sites, could remove up to 85 tonnes of carbon dioxide per hectare from the atmosphere, at a rate of 20 times more per hectare than through planting trees.

Prof. Manning said he was keen for everyone to try this on their own property, school land, in public spaces and derelict sites to increase the impact nationwide.

Ariane Baty, a member of the climate change group, said: “Not only does the carbon capture method lock in carbon effectively but it will also improve the fertility of the soil, as well as increase biodiversity, for example of worms, insects and pollinating insects, which in turn will ensure richer harvests both on farmland and in towns and gardens.”

A follow-up event explaining steps of how to implement carbon capture was held by Hexham Climate Action at Hexham Community Centre at 7.30pm on Tuesday, and Mr Davenport again attended and was supported by group members.