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BS 3882:2015 - Specification for topsoil
Topsoil is a vital component of most landscaping and planting projects. The range of applications is increasing, for example as we learn to manage rainwater using landscape features that soak up and retard runoff.
BS 3882 sets out requirements for topsoil classification and composition, specifying characteristics such as texture, acidity and contaminants. It includes information on sampling and analysis, and gives guidance about handling and site preparation so that soil is not degraded during excavation, delivery or placement.
The standard has now been revised, to align with BS 8601:2013 – Specification for subsoil – and also to reflect changing user experience and growing knowledge.
- Revised test parameters to reflect the increased use of composted green waste
- A new organic matter test that is less damaging to the environment and health, and also cheaper
The standard covers natural and manufactured topsoils that are moved or traded, not topsoils remaining in situ. It specifies requirements both for multipurpose topsoil, fit for the majority of needs, and for specialist topsoils that have low fertility or are acidic or calcareous.
BS 3882:2015 will be useful for anyone involved in landscaping, including gardeners, builders, developers, engineers, architects, utilities, local authorities and environmental consultancies.