Environmental Geochemistry and Health

, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp 56–63 | Cite as

Evaluation procedures for restored land

  • Elizabeth A. Street


Release of land for mineral extraction is often dependent on the quality of the restoration which can be achieved. It follows, therefore, that some means of judging the success of restoration is required, especially where restoration is an agricultural after use.

In order to assess whether land has been well restored it is therefore necessary to know what the physical characteristics of the land were before mineral extraction took place, what changes are likely to have occurred to the land and soil as a result of mineral extraction, and lastly whether the physical characteristics of the land are as good as when the land was last used for agriculture. Most permissions however, were granted before there was a requirement to record pre-site conditions so it is impossible to know what the site was like when it was last used for agriculture. Furthermore, this paper will argue that land quality is only one factor which should be considered in assessing the quality of restored land, other factors for example, visual integration, farm management must also be taken into consideration. This paper will outline the existing evaluation procedures used by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries & Food and Minerals Planners and suggest developing an evaluation procedure which considers various dimensions of restored land namely soil and land quality, visual integration and the management and productivity of restored land. This evaluation procedure has been applied to seventeen study sites of sand and gravel pits. The paper will indicate whether the evaluation procedure successfully classified these sites or not.


Geochemistry Gravel Physical Characteristic Evaluation Procedure Mineral Extraction 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Town and Country Planning (Minerals) Act (1981) HMSO, London.Google Scholar
  2. Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1966). Agricultural Land Classification.Tech. Rpt. II.Google Scholar
  3. -, (1974)Agricultural Land Classification of England and Wales. Agricultural Development and Advisory Service. Land Service.Google Scholar
  4. -, (1976)Agricultural Land Classification. Definition and identification of sub-grades within grade 3. Tech.Rpt. 11/1.Google Scholar
  5. Department of the Environment (1976). Development involving Agricultural Land. Circular 75/76.Google Scholar
  6. McRae, S.G. (1979) The agricultural restoration of sand and gravel quarries in Great Britain.Reclamation Review Vol. 2, pp.133–141.Google Scholar
  7. Sand and Gravel Association, (1967).Saga pit and quarry textbook Sand and Gravel Association and Macdonald, London.Google Scholar
  8. Colvin, T.S., Anderson, C.E. and Buckele, W.F. (1975)Cost of moving overburden by various machine systems. Iowa State Univ. Paper presented at conference. April 15–16th.Google Scholar
  9. Nichols, H.L. (1976)Moving the earth, the workbook of excavation. North Castle Books, Greenwich, Connetticut.Google Scholar
  10. Fisher, G. (1976) Preserving the fertility of soils disturbed during mineral working. In: Land Reclamation Conference Papers, Thurrock Borough Council, Essex. September 1976. pp.263–280.Google Scholar
  11. Cheyney, A. (1983) Settlement of landfill. Third Harwell Waste Management Symposium. U.K.A.E.A. Harwell, Oxfordshire.Google Scholar
  12. United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (1983).Landfill Gas Symposium. U.K.A.E.A. Harwell, Oxfordshire.Google Scholar
  13. Frost, B.D. (1978) Minerals and agriculture: Restoration and Purchasing.Chartered Surveyor Land Hydrographie and Minerals Quarterly. Vol. 5. pp.49–54.Google Scholar
  14. Reynolds, D. (1983) Farming restored land — a farmer's experience.Royal Agricultural Society of England Conference. Stoneleigh. 8th February, 1983.Google Scholar
  15. Craig, J.S. (1983) Restored land — aftercare and cropping. Royal Agricultural Society of England Conference, Stoneieigh. 8th February 1983.Google Scholar
  16. McRae, S.G. and Heywood, A. (1983). The aftercare stage in land restoration to agriculture.Sand and Gravel Association Bulletin Vol.15, p.11–12.Google Scholar
  17. Steeley, G. (1983). Restoring land to agriculture.Town and Country Planning p. 118.Google Scholar
  18. McRae, S.G. (1983a).Agricultural land restoration seminar. Ceramics, Glass, and Mineral Products Industry Training Board. Unpublished report by Rural Planning Services Limited, Didcot, Oxfordshire.Google Scholar
  19. Fourt, D.F., (1981). Land form and restoration of gravel workingsSand and Gravel Association Bulletin Management Symposium. U.K.A.E.A. Harwell, Oxfordshire.Google Scholar
  20. Hall, D.G.M., Reeve, M.J., Thomasson, A.J. & Wright, V.F. (1977). Water retention, porosity and density of field soils.Soil Survey Technical Monograph, No.9.Google Scholar
  21. Russell, E.W. (1971). Soil Structure: Its maintenance and Improvement.J. Soil Sci. Vol.22, pp.137–151.Google Scholar
  22. Fisher, G. (1981). Agricultural productivity of restored land. InThe productivity of restored land. Land Decade Educational Council, London pp.3–4a.Google Scholar
  23. McRae, S.G. (1983b). The soil scientist's contribution to quarry design and reclamation. In: Reclamation 83, Proceedings of the International Land Reclamation Conference and Exhibition. Grays, Essex. 26–29 April 1983.Google Scholar
  24. Hackett, B. (ed.) (1977).Landscape reclamation practice. IPC Science and Technology Press, Guildford, Surrey.Google Scholar
  25. Bradshaw, A.D. (1979).The restoration of land. Studies in ecology, Vol.5. Blackwell Scientific, Oxford.Google Scholar
  26. Swain, R.W. (1983). Restoration of land to agriculture soil handling — Royal Agricultural Society of England Conference, Stoneleigh. 8 February 1983.Google Scholar
  27. Abdul-Kareem, A.W. & McRae, S.G. (1984). The effects of topsoil of long-term storage in stockpiles.Plant and Soil. Vol. 76, pp.527–536.Google Scholar
  28. Anon (1982). Joint Agricultural land restoration experimentsProgress report II, Bush Farm. Sand and Gravel Association, DoE, MAFF.Google Scholar
  29. Hertfordshire C.C. (1980). The certification of restored minerals workings. Discussion paper, Herts. C.C. Hertford.Google Scholar
  30. Bate, R. (1983). Certificate of completed restoration.Mineral Planning No.3 pp. 14–15.Google Scholar
  31. Scottish Mineral Officers Group, (1982). Restoration to agriculture — proceedings of the SMOG April seminar.Minerals Planning. No.20, pp.20–29.Google Scholar
  32. British Standards Institution, (1965). Recommendations and Classification for topsoil.British Standards. BS 3882.Google Scholar
  33. Holden, R. (1983). Topsoil specifications or beware ofBS 3882Landscape Design. No.141 pp.34–35.Google Scholar
  34. Bradshaw, A.D. (1983). Topsoil quality — proposals for a new system.Landscape Design. No.141, pp.32–33.Google Scholar
  35. Bradshaw, A.D. (1979).The Restoration of Land. Studies in Ecology. Vol.5. Blackwell Scientific, Oxford.Google Scholar
  36. El Karouri, M.O.H. (1974).Studies of soil compaction in relation to plant growth. Ph.D. Thesis, Wye College, University of London.Google Scholar
  37. Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries & Food, (1975). Soil physical conditions and crop production. MAFF Bulletin 29.Google Scholar
  38. Stucky, P.J. and Lindsey, T.C. (1982). Effect of soil compaction on growth and yield of soybeans grown in a greenhouse on several reconstructed soil profiles from prime farmland in Southern Illinois. Reclamation and Revegetation Research, Vol. I pp.297–309.Google Scholar
  39. Hall, (1977). Water retention, porosity and density of field soils.Soil Survey Technical Monograph, No.9.Google Scholar
  40. Fawcett, F. and Ewbank, J. (1981). The landscape of mineral working.Mineral Planning No. 14, p. 17.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Sciences and Technology Letters 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elizabeth A. Street
    • 1
  1. 1.Human Environmental ScienceKing's College LondonLondon

Personalised recommendations