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This term has been employed to describe non soil materials used in land reclamation to support vegetation growth. These are usually derived from mineral wastes, such as:
Soil-forming materials must also have the propensity to turn into soils over time, and this process is usually encouraged by treatment to relieve compaction, the incorporation of organic matter such as greenwaste compost, and the choice of appropriate vegetation types that will endure and improve the quality of the substrate.
The majority of Forest Research’s experience of growing trees and other forms of vegetation on reclaimed land has been using soil-forming materials rather than true soil. So significant and successful research campaigns have been achieved on:
Bending, N. A. D., McRae, S. G. and Moffat, A. J. for the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (1999). Soil-forming materials: their use in land reclamation. The Stationery Office, London.
SUBR:IM Bulletin 11 is available in the Downloads section, below.
CL:AIRE's SUBR:IM bulletins present practical outcomes of research by the SUBR:IM consortium which have direct application to the brownfield and contaminated land communities. This bulletin considers the use of compost in brownfield projects.
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