Soil Surveys, Environmental Assessment & Land Management

Soil Management Plans and Soil Resource Plans

The preparation of a soil management plan and/or soil resource plan is becoming an increasingly common condition of planning permissions to develop greenfield sites. This reflects a growing emphasis on protecting the upper layers of natural soil from loss or degradation, driven by government initiatives such as 'Safeguarding our Soils: a Strategy for England’. One action of that strategy was publication of the DEFRA 'Construction Code of Practice for the Sustainable Use of Soils on Construction Sites'. That introduced the need for a suitably qualified and experienced soil scientist or practitioner to carry out a soil resource survey showing the areas, types and characteristics of topsoil and subsoil available on site. The results of that survey could then be used to formulate a Soil Resource Plan or Soil Management Plan within the working strategy for the construction site.


As a specialist soil science consultancy and primary author for government of the Construction Code of Practice, Land Research Associates has unrivalled skills and experience to prepare Soil Resource or Management Plans for all types of construction development, not only across greenfield sites but also for brownfield sites that include areas of undisturbed natural soil.

This flow chart itemises the stages that a comprehensive soil management plan should include.

For further information contact us on +44 (0)1509 670570 or email

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the components of soil management?

There are six components of soil management which include organic matter management, tillage management, chemical management, compaction management, diversity management, residue management.

How farmland should be managed to protect the soil?

There are a few tips that every farmer should look at when protecting their soil.

  • Working with wet soils causes compaction and reduces yields so keep of wet soil
  • The structure will change over time so dig to assess the soil structure.
  • Test the soil regularly for pH and P properties.
  • Maintain soil organic matter.
  • Irrigate to the crop’s requirements and not more.
  • Maintain field drains.
  • Take the correct steps to prevent erosion. 

What are the three characteristics of soil?

The three particles that make up soil are sand, silt and clay. Sand is usually the largest particle and clay is the smallest. With the correct percentages of these three particles are what gives soil its texture.

What is meant by soil management?

Soil management is the application of practices and treatments to protect soil and enhance its performance. This includes soil conservation, soil amendment and optimal soil health. Good soil management should be used in both industrial and agricultural land.