BS 3882:2015 covers multi-purpose topsoils, and acidic, calcareous and other specialist soils that are moved or traded.

Updated British Standard for topsoil is published

The new specification for topsoils, BS 3882:2015, has been published. Tim O’Hare, of soil specialist Tim O’Hare Associates, and Andy Spetch, manager at British Sugar Topsoil, were both on the working group producing this revision, the first since 1965, and have welcomed the changes.

In the multi-purpose topsoil category, the main changes are:
• The upper limit for extractable potassium has been increased from 900mg/l to 1500mg/l
• The upper level for electrical conductivity has been increased from 2800uScm to 3300uScm and there is no requirement for an Exchangeable Sodium Percentage test.

There are also significant changes to the specific purpose topsoil category, which reflect the new guidance on low-fertility soils for species-rich, biodiverse habitats.

The standard has been revised to align with BS 8601:2013 – Specification for subsoil – and to reflect users’ experience of previous versions of the standard and growing industry knowledge.

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