This is (what I knew as the 'Root Lab') the Rhizolab.at East Malling Research Station (Head Office, where years ago, the then Director Dr Tubbs, told me that I wasnt firing on all four cylinders and that he didn't approve of my sideburns.))
The story they tell is how this Rhizolab got me thinking about the way the springtails grazed the roots of the fruit trees. The lab was built to see how the roots grew - in order to classify the famous Malling rootstocks, found throughout the world. When East Malling was taken over recently, it was estimated that the value of those rootstocks - pretty well given away, could have earned over £9 billion. But it wasn't the roots I was interested in but the small soil creatures.
You can see the roof of the Rhizolab alongside low stocking apples.
The filming took all day, for a five minute sequence.they will show how to extract the soil animals, using the expensive gear,
This would cost over £1000 . So I have developed this cheap gear. See DIY for more on HomeLab
I was asked while filming for them: "what relevance has all this for gardeners?" Some soil animal tips for Gardeners
.1 To get things going throw a lump of leaves. Woodlands have.most soil animals and they are.much the same as in gardens.
2 Look out for ground beetles..good sign that there are creatures to live on. (working on thow they digest their prey. They vomit then wait and suck it back. You can see this if you heat a testube with a beetle in. Try it.).
3 Makes sense of well known composting tip "mix green and brown". The animals for 'green' will be springtails', those for 'brown' will be oribatid mites. Together they make soil web in total. That gives you all creatures needed to keep your plant roots healthy and deal with the debris. Worms turn over the soil the small arthropods then transform the plant remains into humus..gold of the soil.