Midlands Soil Discussion Group

Midlands Soil Discussion Group

The Midlands Soil Discussion Group (MSDG) was first formed on the 23rd November 2011 at Nottingham university thanks to the efforts of Professor Sacha Mooney.  The group has grown from strength to strength since then.

Group Chair: Dr Sami Ullah

Group Secretary: Professor Mike Fullen

Group Treasurer: Dr Fiona Nicholson

Contact MSDG

Latest posts

Welsh Soils Discussion Group Spring Meeting: Soil – the Essentials

Event date: 
Wednesday, April 3, 2019
Event venue: 
Stapledon Suite, Gogerddan Campus, IBERS, Penrhyncoch, Aberystwyth, SY23 3EE, Wales
Event description: 

The Welsh Soils Discussion Group are pleased to announce their Spring Meeting: Soils - the Essentials, in Aberystwyth on Wednesday 3 April.  

Directions and a map can be found at http://www.aber.ac.uk/en/maps-travel/maps/buildings/ibers-gogerddan#

The day will provide an introduction to soils and the issues around them.

The day is aimed at persons for whom (a) soil is a part of their job but not a major component or (b) people with a general interest in soil.

The aim is to provide a baseline level of knowledge and to encourage discussion.

We would really like you to join us for an interesting and enjoyable day (see details below) so please sign up and save the date!


10.00                 Arrival, sign in and refreshments

10.30                 Welcome and introductions from Ian Rugg (WSDG Chair)

10.40 – 11.40    What soils are by Ian Rugg (Welsh Government)  

                          Threats to soil in Wales (and interpreting headlines) by Jack Hannam (Cranfield University)

                          Opportunity for Discussion and questions

11.40 – 13.00    Soils and Farming by Paul Newell-Price (ADAS)

                          Soils and Ecology by John Scullion (Aberystwyth University)

                          Opportunity for Discussion and questions

13.00                Lunch: Please bring your own lunch - tea and coffee will be provided

13.30 - 14.30    Soils and Planning by James Cooke (Welsh Government)

                          Soil Mapping and Earth Observation – the art of the possible by Katie Medcalf (Environment Systems)

                          Opportunity for Discussion and questions

14.30 - 15.30     Open Discussions

15.30                 Close

BASIS CPD points are being sought for this meeting and will be advised shortly.


REGISTRATION IS OPEN          All attendees must register in advance to ensure we have accurate numbers for health & safety reasons and refreshments

  • The event is FREE for BSSS Members
  • Non-members are requested to pay a nominal fee of £10

Refreshments will be provided, however please bring your own lunch.  

ENGAGING WITH ALL – Soils through the National Nature Reserves

Event date: 
Thursday, March 28, 2019
Event venue: 
Cotswold Beechwoods and Commons National Nature Reserve,The Old Ebworth Centre, Stroud, GL6 7ES, United Kingdom
Event description: 

South West Soils Discussion Group - Spring Meeting Thursday 28th March 2019

Ahead of the World Congress of Soil Science in 2022 the British Society of Soil Science is keen to increase awareness of soils and engage with the general public. 

National Nature Reserves (NNRs) were established to protect some of our most important habitats, species and geology, and to provide ‘outdoor laboratories’ for research. There are currently 224 NNRs in England with a total area of over 94,400 hectares - approximately 0.7% of the country’s land surface. Natural England manages about two thirds of England’s NNRs.

Most NNRs offer great opportunities to schools, specialist interest groups and the public to experience wildlife at first hand and to learn more about nature conservation.  There is an opportunity for the Society to work with NNRs to offer a variety of soil experiences tailored to each NNR to raise awareness of soils, their functions importance and story in the landscape.  This meeting will build on discussions held at the 2012 SWESDG Soils, Geodiversity and Soils Educational Networks meeting.  It will consider existing soil experiences, issues faced and discuss innovative opportunities using the NNR estate.

4 BASIS CPD points have been awarded: 3 - Environment, 1 Personal Development


10.00  Welcome and coffee

10.15 Introduction (Gill Shaw, Natural England)

10.30 NNRs – what they are and how they are used (Ben Le Bas, Natural England)

11.00 Drivers for public engagement: World Congress of Soil Science (Ian Rugg, Welsh Government)

11.20 Hands on public engagement: examples from Open Farm Sunday (Tegan Darch, Rothamsted Research)

11.40 Soils around Haytor and Yarner - a self-guided trail (Rob Parkinson)

12.00 Soil exposures: why bother? (Tim Harrod)

12.20 Group discussion

12.40 Lunch

1.30 Field visit briefing by Kate Gamez, NNR Reserve Manager followed by visit to contrasting sites on the Reserve *

* Please bring suitable protective clothing and footwear for the afternoon

3.30 Back for final discussion

4.00pm Close

Cost - includes lunch and refreshments:

£10  -  BSSS Members

£15  - Student NON-Members - proof of current student status will be required

£30  - NON-Members

All attendees must register in advance as we need to have accurate numbers for catering and seating.


BSSS/BGS Meeting 19th March 2019 in Birmingham "Managing Soil Structure and Organic Matter"

In collaboration with the British Grassland Society, BSSS is holding a one day meeting on Tuesday 19th March "Managing soil structure and organic matter" at the Arden Hotel and Leisure Club, Birmingham (situated close to the NEC and Birmingham Internation Railway Station).

Society members can attend for £80.

More details can be found here

ECR Conference 2019

We are delighted to invite all BSSS Early Career Members to the 2019 ECR Conference which will be held at The Edge, University of Sheffield on 16th-17th April 2019. Registration is now open! The deadline to register is 27th January 2019.

Early Careers Researcher Conference 2019

We are delighted to invite all BSSS Early Career Members to the 2019 ECR Conference which will be held at The Edge, University of Sheffield. Whether you’ve just started your PhD or Post-Doc or whether you are near to their completion, the BSSS ECR Conference will be an excellent opportunity to present your research, develop your networks and think ahead about careers and job opportunities.