Soil and Landscape Science Service
For over 140 years ESG have recognised the benefits of applying science to plant growth.
Our involvement in Soil Science in the UK and as far afield as India dates back to the late 1800’s when Dr Augustus Voelcker was the Consulting Chemist for the Royal Agricultural Society, leading research into the use of fertilisers. The consultancy set up in 1863 is now one of the very few companies that specialise in soil and landscape science providing specialist consultancy services to the landscape and construction industries.
Many plants have difficulty becoming established in poor soils evident by plant failures or a stunted, bedraggled appearance. Through scientific assessment of soils, the provision of site specific comment and recommendations to improve or maintain soil quality, ESG ensures that soft landscaping schemes are given the best possible start.
Our early involvement will ensure that all appropriate preparations are made and that effort is not wasted on unnecessary operations or applications. This allows plant lists to be chosen appropriately, site soils to be retained and re-used and many common problems to be avoided. Our services often cost less than the price of a few semi-mature trees, but can save considerable time and money in the long run.
Areas covered include new urban and landscape development projects (such as office or school developments, sports grounds, public parks, road schemes and restoration projects) as well as the maintenance and improvement of existing schemes.
All projects are personally managed by our Soil and Landscape Science Department who are all full members of:
- Institute of Professional Soil Scientists (IPSS)
- British Society of Soil Science (BSSS)
In-house specialists are also available to deal with wider issues such as contaminated land site investigation and waste management issues.
We provide site survey & investigation, desk-based consultancy and analytical services, typically tailored to a particular site or landscape scheme.
Site survey and investigation projects are typically comprised of an in situ assessment of soil conditions, followed by laboratory analysis of representative samples. All findings are documented in a highly readable interpretative report normally including detailed recommendations to maintain and/or improve soil conditions. Our wide range of surveys cover:
- Greenfield soil: Providing details of basic soil chemistry, fertility (and contamination), drainage status and physical make-up
- Brownfield soil: Identification of site materials/soils, for reuse in landscaping, including inclusion in a topsoil manufacture scheme
- Topsoil manufacture: Planning and assistance to ensure a plant growth media of suitable quality is produced
- Stockpile management: On-site inspection, sampling and analysis of potential sources of topsoil and stored site soils
- Parks & gardens restoration: Assessment of soils for planting high quality, demanding specimens
- Soil surveys for playing field construction: Assessment of soil quality in relation to reuse for playing field construction
- Investigation of plant failure: Recommendations for remedial action
Desk-based consultancy projects can be undertaken without site visit or more typically as an addition to a previous site based project:
- Drafting topsoil and subsoil specifications for tenders;
- Earthworks/Soil remediation method statements;
- Meeting attendance/communication of soil related issues;
Analysis services are provided as a material quality check on samples delivered to our offices:
- LP1 (Basic standard)
- LP2 (Standard with phytotoxic metals)
- LP3 (Standard with zootoxic (CLEA model) and phytotoxic metals
- LP7 (Sub-soil package)
- LP8 (Compost and soil conditioner package)
- LP10 (BS3882: 2007 specification for topsoil)
- LP12 (Wildflower package)
- Silt and dredgings