UK Soils Observatory (UKSO)

- Soils Site Reporter Software

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The Soils Site Reporter is an easy-to-use, online soil reporting tool which produces site-specific soils information with maps and soil descriptions. As the national authority on the sustainable management of soil resources for England and Wales, we hold a vast collection of soils information, now available in a matter of minutes with the input of a grid reference or Postcode.

Each report, downloadable in pdf format, provides detailed information on the expected soil conditions at the site and outlines interpretations of the suitability for different uses. A variety of environmental issues such as the potential of damaging ground movement or pipe corrosion and the ease with which chemicals can leach into groundwater or run off into rivers are also included.

Those undertaking an environmental impact assessment (EIA) or a strategic environmental assessment (SEA) are required by EU law (85/337/EEC & 2001/42/EC) to identify, describe and assess the direct and indirect effects of a proposed project scheme on the soil environment (the ground) and its functions and composition, as well as and closely-related environmental themes (e.g. groundwater, flora, fauna, landscape).

The Cranfield Soils Site Reporter provides an ideal preliminary reference source for these assessments as it identifies and describes the soils present around a site, and highlights potential issues which should be considered as part of these integrated assessments.

The report describes the interaction between soil and habitats, water movement, and the impact of soil on material assets and cultural heritage in the form of damaging ground movement and conditions. A description of the interaction between these factors is also required by EU legislation.

The inclusion of a Soils Site Report in an EIA or SEA will quickly enable you to understand and communicate the key issues surrounding the soil “land bank” relating to your project, as well as to provide pertinent information on a range of other issues including flood extent vulnerability, geo-hazards and background levels of soil contaminants.

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