Soil means a lot of different things to different people and “good soil” can differ depending on the regime.
Farmers look at soils with regards to health for crop growth or grazing, good drainage characteristics, good moisture holding capacity and good nutrient status. Developers need soils fit for purpose for landscaping or as backfill to voids. Soil characteristics can change over time, so soils need careful management to be fit for purpose. Topsoil quality can easily be lost with poor management.
For soils arising from greenfield or brownfield sites, the soil management requirements for getting good quality re-useable topsoils or subsoils on site of origin or at another end user site become even more complex. Development sites have very different requirements to agricultural settings and often there is a mismatch in project timescales. Soil treatment centres could perhaps help here, however the UK experience has not always been a good one.
This webinar explores past experiences, the current state of affairs and what opportunities the future could hold.