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SoilCheck Topsoil Analysis Services

Gardening fork

Topsoil and Subsoil Analysis Services for soil management and compliance

SAC Consulting SoilCheck service provides topsoil and subsoil analysis reports to The British Standard for Topsoil (BS3882:2015) and The British Standard for Subsoil (BS8601:2013) to help clients show compliance with design specifications and to meet project objectives.

The service targets the non-agricultural sector and clients include:

  • Landscape architects
  • Civil engineering and construction sectors
  • Land maintenance
  • Local councils
  • Waste management sector
  • Topsoil trade

The provision of interpretive reports is the key to the success of SoilCheck. The reports provide an overall quality assessment including comments on soil drainage and moisture holding capacity.

Any issues with the soil are highlighted in the report and customised recommendations are provided. This includes fertiliser recommendations and the requirement for cultivation and management. The author of reports will also be available by phone to discuss specific questions that arise from the assessment.

SoilCheck services

Soil sampleThere are three core SoilCheck services:

  • SoilCheck Full – This provides topsoil analysis to the British Standard for Topsoil (BS3882:2015) which is a common requirement in site specifications. The British Standard for Topsoil includes a comprehensive analysis and a certificate that classifies soils in a range of categories.

The British Standard for Topsoil is a convenient method of assuring the quality of soil that is proposed for use on site. Due to the high standards required, soils often fail the BS3882:2015 due to easily corrected nutrient deficiencies. The SAC Consulting SoilCheck report will highlight this and provide recommendations to bring the soil into compliance.

  • SoilCheck Subsoil – This provides analysis of soils to the British Standard for Subsoil (BS8601:2013). This is aimed at certifying the suitability of subsoils for use and is highly recommended for value sites.
  • SoilCheck Basic – The basic analysis focuses on key management information and recommendations necessary to understand and manage the topsoil on your site.

As with the SoilCheck Full, the Subsoil and Basic analysis also include an interpretive report that describes the soil and its texture. When appropriate fertiliser recommendations are provided, any issues with the soil are highlighted and discussed.

The current prices (valid until January 2019) are:

  • SoilCheck Full £216 + VAT per sample
  • SoilCheck Subsoil £190 + VAT per sample
  • SoilCheck Basic £107 + VAT per sample

For all services a minimum sample weight of 1.5 kg should be provided.

Additional Services

SAC Consulting also offers a range of additional soil management services including:

  • Soil survey and assessment for planning purposes
  • Customised soil analysis which can include contamination assessment
  • Land restoration and reclamation
  • Waste spreading to land recommendations and exemptions
  • Land drainage
  • Soil sampling and site reports

Advice on Sampling

DiggingIt is advisable that sampling is conducted by experienced staff to ensure the resource is accurately represented and there is no mixing of differing soil types.

Stockpiled soils

A minimum of one sample is required for every 5000m3 of stockpiled soil. It is advisable that soils from differing stockpiles be sampled and analysed separately.

Soils of differing types should not be mixed, unless this is representative of the intended strategy for the management of the resource.

Containers or bags used for transport should be new, clean and fully sealed and labelled.

Stockpiles that are to be sampled more than once should first be mapped and divided into a number of zones, depending on how many samples are to be taken.

A minimum of 1.5 kg is required for each sample. To obtain a representative sample smaller incremental samples should be taken at regular intervals, both from the surface and from within the core of the stockpile. For large stockpiles this may require the use of plant to excavate to the centre. These composite samples should be mixed in a bucket and sub-sampled to create the final 1.5 kg sample for testing.

The British Standard for Topsoil (BS3882:2015) and the British Standard for Subsoil (BS8601:2013) have restrictions on the amount and size of stones that can be present in a certified topsoil. It is the responsibility of those sampling to ensure that the stone content in the final sample is representative of the stones found across the stockpile. This is practically important if stones with a diameter > 50 mm are present.

Key Points

  • Minimum 1.5 kg per sample is required

Label each sample bag with:

  •  Your name
  •  A unique sample ID
  •  Contact Telephone & E-mail
  •  Sample Location
  •  If it is a Topsoil or Subsoil
  •  SoilCheck Service required i.e. Full, Subsoil or Basic

Post the samples to:

Dr Bill Crooks,
Environment and Design
JF Niven Building

T: 01292 525 377


Further Information

Further information regarding SoilCheck including soil sampling, service packages and prices please contact Bill Crooks by e-mail or telephone +44 (0)1292525377. Following service and price agreement, sealed and labelled soil samples should be posted to Dr Bill Crooks, SoilCheck, Environment and Design, JF Niven Building, Auchincruive Ayr, KA6 5HW, T: 01292 525 377

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