South West Soil Discussion Group

South West Soil Discussion Group

The South West England Soils Discussion Group (SWESDiG) was set up in 1975 to stimulate interest in the study of soils in the Region, and provide a means whereby individuals from different institutions and fields of activity can meet to discuss problems and topics of common interest.Membership of the group is free. Meetings are organised on an ad hoc basis on selected themes relevant to the wider study of soils, land use and the environment in the South West.

Group Chair: Dr Martin Blackwell

Group Secretary: Dr Rob Parkinson

Contact SWESDiG

Latest posts

BSSS Annual Conference: Closing Date for Abstracts- 10th June!

Soils are crucial for sustainable development and healthy soils are central to achieving many of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

With keynote speakers, including Dr Cheryl Palm from the University of Florida, addressing issues such as Soils and Food Security, Climate Change and Health and Water Quality, the British Society of Soil Science 2018 Annual Conference will provide an opportunity to deliberate and discuss these critical topics.

Reminder: please register ASAP for Spring Meeting this Thursday

Dear all,

Just a quick reminder about our Spring Meeting this Thursday ( if you are planning to come, please ensure you REGISTER ASAP using the link above so that the organisers know numbers for catering and chairs, etc. The event is free of charge for BSSS members, and £10 for non-members.

The weather forecast looks good so we hope lots of you will be able to make it for an interesting day.


Open Farm Sunday - get involved!

Dear South Western Soil Scientists,

Open Farm Sunday is happening on Sunday 10th June 2018.
“LEAF Open Farm Sunday, managed by LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming), is one of the farming industry’s biggest success stories. Since the first Open Farm Sunday in 2006, over 1000 farmers across the UK have opened their gates and welcomed people onto their farm for one Sunday each year. It is a fantastic opportunity for everyone, young and old, to discover at firsthand what it means to be a farmer and the fabulous work they do producing our food and managing the countryside.”

SWESDG Spring Meeting 2018 – Soil Structure (part 2)

Event date: 
Thursday, May 17, 2018
Event venue: 
Neroche Hall, Bickenhall, Taunton, Somerset, TA3 6TZ, United Kingdom
Event description: 

This meeting will build on the Autumn 2017 meeting where we looked at soil structure on light soils. Here we will assess soil structure on heavy soils at Bickenhall Farm.

Two assessment methods will be used to compare and contrast. These will be Visual Evaluation of Soil Structure (VESS) and Visual Soil Assessment (VSA).

Arrive at Neroche Hall - 10am

Lunch will be provided

Depart by 4pm

We will spend most of the day outside so bring sturdy shoes and clothes appropriate for the weather. You may also wish to bring a spade.

A total of 5 BASIS CPD points have been given to this meeting: (2 - Crop Protection, 2 -Environment & 1 - Personal Development) so please make sure you have your membership number with you and sign the relevant form on the day.

BSSS Members may attend the meeting FREE of charge whilst Non Members will be required to pay £10.00.

Please note that everyone attending the meeting will need to register in advance to enable us to accurately organise catering and seating.




Looking back on March: An Update from Dan

Happy Springtime everyone,

Tunnelling a passageway through the soil, furnishing our beds and borders with elegance and vitality is a floral promise. A promise of longer days, and lighter evenings; a promise to banish the clouds and cast off the rain. This promise, once dormant under thick clods of earth, now stands tall and dainty; a yellow delicacy swaying to the music of Springtime...