Soils expert warns that additional tests may be needed to meet all requirements

Tim O'Hare
Tim O'Hare

Soil expert Tim O’Hare, Principal of Tim O’Hare Associates,┬áhas warned of shortcomings in the British Standard for Topsoil (BS3882:2015), introduced in April 2015.

Talking to the British Association of Landscape Industries he said: “Compliance with the Table 1 parameters does not necessarily mean a topsoil is suitable for every landscape situation or application. This standard is intended for use throughout the UK but will not necessarily pick up regional variations in rainfall or temperature or site-specific issues.”

He added: “We strongly recommend always testing topsoil for contaminants to demonstrate its wider compliance with industry standards. This is something that is often missed by many soil testing companies and ultimately means that their tests are not fully compliant with the standard.

“The important thing to remember when requesting topsoil analysis is to make sure the testing covers all aspects of your specification and to consider the specific use of the topsoil. The likelihood is that testing just to the BS may not be sufficient for many schemes.”


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