BS 3882:2015 - Specification for topsoil

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BS 3882:2015

Specification for topsoil

Status : Current   Published : April 2015



Local Authority and environment agency (EA, SEPA, NRW etc)

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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 8601:2013Specification for subsoil – and also to reflect changing user experience and growing knowledge. 

Changes include:

  • 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.

Standard NumberBS 3882:2015
TitleSpecification for topsoil
Publication Date30 April 2015
Cross ReferencesBS 7755-3.7:1995, BS EN 12579:2013, BS EN ISO 3696:1995, BS ISO 10390:2005, BS ISO 11277:2009, BS ISO 16729:2013, BS 1377-2:1990, BS 8601, BS EN ISO/IEC 17025, PAS 100:2005, Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, Environmental Protection Act 1990, Waste Management Licensing Regulations 1994
ReplacesBS 3882:2007
Draft Superseded By14/30297814 DC
DescriptorsTop soil, Soil profile, Soils, Grades (quality), Classification systems, Soil classification tests, Soil testing, Soil improvement, Soil sampling, Soil science, Stone, Size, Texture, Contamination, Chemical properties, Chemical analysis and testing, Storage, Materials handling
ISBN978 0 580 85949 6
File Size817 KB

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