BS3882:2007 Specification for Topsoil and Requirements for Use

BS3882:2007, the third edition of the Specification for Topsoil was released in November 2007 and specifies the performance requirements for Multipurpose Topsoil and Specific Purpose Topsoil. The topsoil quality grades are described in BS3882:2007 as below:-

Multipurpose Topsoil
Multipurpose topsoil is described as that including natural topsoil or manufactured topsoil, which if handled and managed appropriately and placed over permeable subsoil is capable of supporting grass, trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants. This grade should be suitable for most planting situations, although some characteristics of natural topsoil may not be conducive to the handling associated with the trading of topsoil.

Specific Purpose Topsoil
Specific purpose topsoil includes natural or manufactured topsoil with characteristics appropriate for specialist planting situations. Specific purpose topsoil’s are split into the following groups:-

  • Acidic
  • Calcareous
  • Low fertility
  • Low fertility acidic
  • Low fertility calcareous

BS3882:2007 provides guidance on sourcing, handling, storing, sampling and testing topsoil and the requirements for declaring compliance with the standard as well as providing recommendations for the preparation of a receptor site and topsoil spreading.

For further advice on Topsoil Specifications please contact Paul Brewer at