A guide to Topsoil BS3882:2015

Nearly all landscaping projects require topsoil, but for some reason, it has become an afterthought. Topsoil is governed by some strict standards and sourcing the correct topsoil is important for the future growth of landscapes.


What is Topsoil BS3882

As the name suggests, is the top layer of soil, which is usually fertile and high in organic matter and nutrients. It can be used in a variety of commercial and domestic projects such as landscaping or for laying lawns.

Topsoil has standards that have been set out by the British Standard Institutes (BSI). The newly revised standard, BS3882:2015, sets the British Standard that must be met; this is also where Topsoil BS3882 gets its name. This standard covers natural and manufactured topsoil that is moved or traded, not material that remains in situ.


Why you might need topsoil BS3882?

Many areas have low-quality soils, but more specifically development sites where the natural top layer of soil has been stripped away during construction. These sites will be covered in a layer of fertile material to allow for the growth of turf, plants, or vegetation to create a new landscape.

It can also be used in gardens where there might be no access to soil.


Are there different topsoil gradings?

Yes, BS3882:2015 sets out two different gradings:

Multipurpose – This is regularly used and is suitable for most gardening/landscaping projects.

Specific Purpose – This is a very specific grading where the project may require different characteristics such as acidic soil, calcareous soil, or low fertility.


What does the British Standard BS3882 set?

BS3882:2015 sets out the requirements for classification and composition. it specifies the characteristics such as texture, acidity, and contaminants. It includes information on sampling & analysis and gives guidance on handling and site preparation so that the soil is not degraded during excavation, delivery, or placement.

Certified material must have passed specific have specific parameters:

Suppliers are required to declare the results of the analysis which includes:


Who would use Topsoil BS3882?

It is used by anyone that is involved in landscaping, including:

For more information on our supply of Topsoil to BS3882:2015, please call us on 0161 647 7409 or email info@gmat.co.uk

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