South East England Soil Discussion Group

South East England Soil Discussion Group

The South East England Soils Discussion Group (SEESOIL) is a vibrant group.

Dr Jack Hannam, Cranfield University – Chair

Dr Martin Lukac, University of Reading  – Vice Chair

Dr Elena Vanguelova, Forest Research – Tree Planting Coordinator

Dr Tom Sizmur, University of Reading – IYS2015 Coordinator

Julian Gold, Hendred Farms


Latest posts


SEESOIL has set up a new event for its members.

Taking place on Tuesday 17th September at the Hendred Estate, near Wantage, the day includes a tour of the farm, lunch and the opportunity for discussion.

For full details and to register please see the webpage

Members are FREE

Non-Members are £15:00

Please note: All attendees MUST register online as places are limited.


SEESOIL Farm Visit to the Hendred Estate

Event date: 
Tuesday, September 17, 2019
Event venue: 
Hill Farm, St Mary’s Road, East Hendred, Wantage, OX12 8LF, United Kingdom
Event description: 

Come and visit the farm managed by SEESOIL council member and Soil Farmer of the Year, Julian Gold.

The day will consist of:

  • A tour of the farm
  • A networking lunch
  • The opportunity for open discussion on aspects of conservation agriculture, practical soil management, and soil organic matter



BSSS Members: FREE

Non-Members:    £15

Limited places available - REGISTRATION

Registration deadline: Monday 9th September 

June 2019: An Update from Dan

I am writing this on one of those days when the skies decide to ‘spring clean’ the Earth. Strong gusts are vacuuming the dust from the country lanes that run like skirting boards around green carpets of cropland and pasture. Clouds unite to form impenetrable ceilings of lead from which millions of droplets are preparing to polish the rooftops. As I write, my train carriage window is becoming freckled with a shimmering galaxy of watery stars. Is there anything more inspiring than a clouded day?

Open Farm Sunday - Can you help with these two requests?

We have received an enquiry in the office for assistance with Open Farm Sunday plus a further one via Twitter.

Are you able to help with either?

Please contact Leila Froud in first instance if you think you can help at Ben’s event.

Dear Madam/Sir,

I'm writing to ask whether you would be able and willing to support our family farm in hosting the general public for the Open Farm Sunday initiative to be held on 9th June. 

"Soils and the Environment" - Annual Workshop of the Midlands Soil Discussion Group

Event date: 
Wednesday, May 29, 2019
Event venue: 
Allerton Project site, Loddington, LE7 9XE, United Kingdom
Event description: 

The theme of this meeting is "Soils and the Environment" which is of critical importance for protecting environmental quality, food security, biodiversity conservation and climate change mitigation. 

The annual meeting of the MSDG group will examine the link between soil management, the environment and habitat quality through a tour of the ongoing sustainable soil management and conservation techniques being employed at the Allerton Project farm site. The morning tour will be followed by selected presentations showcasing the latest research in soil science.

The day will run between 9.30am and 1.45pm. The agenda can be viewed here

Attendance (including lunch and refreshments) is:

FREE for BSSS Members

£15 for Student NON-Members *  Proof of student status will be required at time of booking - please see payment page.

£20 for NON-Members 


ALL attendees must register to allow us to plan logistics and catering accurately.

Event flyer: 

Agricultural Land Classification Course 2019

Event date: 
Wednesday, November 20, 2019 to Thursday, November 21, 2019
Event venue: 
Arden Hotel, Coventry Road, Bickenhill, Solihull B92 0EH, United Kingdom
Event description: 

Agricultural Land Classification (ALC) has a formal role in the planning system in England and Wales and is designed to prevent the loss of our best and most versatile land in line with the principles of sustainable development.

This training course, designed and presented by agricultural land classification (ALC) experts from Natural England and the Welsh Government, offers a unique opportunity to learn about the background and technical basis of the current ALC guidelines.

By the end of the two day course you will learn:

  • about how the ALC system has developed over time, its underlying principles and its role within the planning system - the WHAT, WHY and WHEN of ALC
  • all the details of how land is graded - the HOW of ALC
  • what a report should contain in order to be verified by the Natural England and Welsh Government statutory consultees on planning applications involving soils and agriculture
  • how to present ALC results as an expert witness

As well as taught sessions, you will carry out a group ALC grading desk exercise to apply what you have learned.

The course is designed for:

  • soil scientists who wish to extend their experience to (or refresh an existing awareness of) Agricultural Land Classification,
  • those commissioning ALC surveys from specialists, and
  • planners reviewing ALC reports.

Completion of the course is not a certificate of competence to undertake ALC surveys.  Competence in undertaking ALC surveys, as described in Working with Soil Document 2 (below), will require subsequent relevant survey experience. 

For non soil specialists, prior or subsequent attendance on Working with Soil course Exposing and Describing a Soil Profile or an equivalent course, is strongly recommended to enable you to get the most out of this course.

The two-day ALC course will take place at The Arden Hotel in Solihull, close to the NEC. Please note overnight accommodation is not included.

This course qualifies for CPD points for professional practice schemes. BASIS CPD has been awarded at a total of 10 points (6 Environment + 4 Personal Development)


Please read our Event Cancellation Policy carefully - see below.