14 results found
Bone J, Archer M, Barraclough D, et al., 2012, Public participation in soil surveys: lessons from a pilot study in England., Environmental Science and Technology, Vol: 46, Pages: 3687-3696
In many countries there are policies in place that impact on soils, but very few legislative or policy tools specifically for the protection of soil. Recent EU legislative proposals on soil protection have been met with opposition on the grounds of excessive cost and resource demands. With the need for evidence based policy, and recognition that involving the public in environmental monitoring is an effective way of increasing understanding and commitment, there has been growing interest in soil surveys. In addition, it is accepted that the success of environmental policies depends greatly on how effectively scientists, regulators, stakeholders, and society communicate. This paper presents the Open Air Laboratories (OPAL) Soil and Earthworm Survey as an example of public participation in soil surveys that aims to integrate the above. It is demonstrated how such surveys generate data that can be used to prioritise soil assessment, in order to address some of the concerns and objections to soil protection policies. Lessons from this pilot study in England highlight that with strategic planning of civic participation activities, this approach can deliver improvements in the quality of the evidence collected and allow for effective public involvement in policymaking and implementation, on top of direct educational benefits.
Bone J, Barraclough D, Eggleton P, et al., 2012, Prioritising Soil Quality Assessment through the Screening of Sites: The Use of Publicly Collected Data, Land Degradation and Development
Emergence of policies dealing with concern over soil degradation and anthropogenic impacts to soil is likely to increase the requirement for assessment of soil quality and identification of soils at risk from degradation. An example is the proposed EU Soil Framework Directive, which features the identification of areas requiring protection from soil degradation. There have been some serious objections to such requirements on the grounds of resource and capital demands. To help to address these concerns, this work proposes a strategic set of indicators based on measured soil quality indicators. These can be used in screening locations to assess the likelihood of degradation and indicate areas for further detailed assessment. This will allow further emphasis to be placed on a smaller number of locations, which could lead to cost and resource efficiencies. Indicators have been used in the past in assessment of soil quality; they are parameters which can be measured and correspond to assessment criteria to measure and help monitor the status and changes. The study reviews the current state of soil quality assessment including methods and indicators that are used to collect data and approaches used to assess data to determine areas subject to soil degradation. Methods and practicalities for data collection and screening are discussed, including the need for further pilot testing and protocol development. Use of public data collection could allow more resource efficient protection of soils, in addition to benefits of public engagement, and raising awareness of the importance of soils and soil biodiversity. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Davies L, Bell JN, Bone J, et al., 2011, Open Air Laboratories (OPAL): a community-driven research programme., Environmental Pollution, Vol: 159, Pages: 2203-2210
OPAL is an English national programme that takes scientists into the community to investigate environmental issues. Biological monitoring plays a pivotal role covering topics of: i) soil and earthworms; ii) air, lichens and tar spot on sycamore; iii) water and aquatic invertebrates; iv) biodiversity and hedgerows; v) climate, clouds and thermal comfort. Each survey has been developed by an inter-disciplinary team and tested by voluntary, statutory and community sectors. Data are submitted via the web and instantly mapped. Preliminary results are presented, together with a discussion on data quality and uncertainty. Communities also investigate local pollution issues, ranging from nitrogen deposition on heathlands to traffic emissions on roadside vegetation. Over 200,000 people have participated so far, including over 1000 schools and 1000 voluntary groups. Benefits include a substantial, growing database on biodiversity and habitat condition, much from previously unsampled sites particularly in urban areas, and a more engaged public.
Bone J, Head M, Jones DT, et al., 2011, From chemical risk assessment to environmental quality management: the challenge for soil protection., Environmental Science and Technology, Vol: 45, Pages: 104-110
The 40 years that have passed since the beginning of the 'environmental revolution' has seen a large increase in development of policies for the protection of environmental media and a recognition by the public of the importance of environmental quality. There has been a shift from policy in reaction to high profile events, then to control of releases to single environmental media, and to the present position of moving toward integrated management of all environmental media at present. This development has moved away from classical chemical risk assessment toward environmental holism, including recognition of the ecological value of these media. This work details how policy developments have taken place for air and water, with examples from the USA and EU, in order to compare this with policy development regarding soil. Soil, with quite different policy frameworks and distinct uses, understanding, and threats compared to other environmental media, is currently attracting attention regarding the need for its protection independent of use. Challenges for soil policy are identified and evaluated, and recommendations on how these challenges can be overcome are discussed with relevance to water and air protection policy.
Donovan SM, Skartsila AM, Head MK, et al., 2011, An Initial Investigation into the Use of a Flux Chamber Technique to Measure Soil-Atmosphere Gas Exchanges from Application of Biosolids to UK Soils, Applied and Environmental Soil Science, Vol: 2011, Pages: 1-10, ISSN: 1687-7667
<jats:p>While a significant amount of work has been conducted to assess the concentration of pollutants in soils and waterways near land that has been amended with biosolids, a relatively small body of research investigating emissions to atmosphere is available in the literature. Some studies have indicated that while the CO<jats:sub>2</jats:sub>emissions from soils decrease with fertiliser application, the CH<jats:sub>4</jats:sub>and N<jats:sub>2</jats:sub>O emissions might be increased, offsetting the benefit. The objective of the research presented in this paper was to address this gap, by the use of a flux chamber technique to measure soil-atmosphere gas exchanges from the application of biosolids to land. This was done by applying three different types of biosolids to soils and measuring gases at the soil-atmosphere interface. The measurements were taken on areas with three different types of vegetation. The gases were collected using a flux chamber technique and analysed by gas chromatography. The results presented here are preliminary findings of an ongoing experiment. Insignificant variation appeared to occur between different areas of vegetation; however, small variations in gas concentrations were observed indicating a need for continued monitoring of soil-atmosphere gas exchanges to determine the long-term impacts on the atmosphere and the environment.</jats:p>
Bone J, Head M, Barraclough D, et al., 2010, Soil quality assessment under emerging regulatory requirements., Environment International, Vol: 36, Pages: 609-622, ISSN: 0160-4120
New and emerging policies that aim to set standards for protection and sustainable use of soil are likely to require identification of geographical risk/priority areas. Soil degradation can be seen as the change or disturbance in soil quality and it is therefore crucial that soil and soil quality are well understood to protect soils and to meet legislative requirements. To increase this understanding a review of the soil quality definition evaluated its development, with a formal scientific approach to assessment beginning in the 1970s, followed by a period of discussion and refinement. A number of reservations about soil quality assessment expressed in the literature are summarised. Taking concerns into account, a definition of soil quality incorporating soil's ability to meet multifunctional requirements, to provide ecosystem services, and the potential for soils to affect other environmental media is described. Assessment using this definition requires a large number of soil function dependent indicators that can be expensive, laborious, prone to error, and problematic in comparison. Findings demonstrate the need for a method that is not function dependent, but uses a number of cross-functional indicators instead. This method to systematically prioritise areas where detailed investigation is required, using a ranking based against a desired level of action, could be relatively quick, easy and cost effective. As such this has potential to fill in gaps and compliment existing monitoring programs and assist in development and implementation of current and future soil protection legislation.
Head MK, Wong HS, Buenfeld NR, 2008, Characterising aggregate surface geometry in thin sections of mortar and concrete, Cem. Concr. Res., Vol: 38, Pages: 1227-1231
Head MK, Buenfeld NR, 2006, Confocal imaging of porosity in hardened concrete, Cement and Concrete Research, Vol: 36, Pages: 896-911, ISSN: 0008-8846
Head MK, Buenfeld NR, 2006, Measurement of aggregate interfacial porosity in complex, multi-phase aggregate concrete: Binary mask production using backscattered electron, and energy dispersive X-ray image, CEMENT AND CONCRETE RESEARCH, Vol: 36, Pages: 337-345, ISSN: 0008-8846
Wong H S, Head M K, Buenfeld N R, 2006, Pore segmentation of cement-based materials from backscattered electron images, Cem Concr Res, Vol: 36, Pages: 1083-1090
Wong H S, Buenfeld N R, Head M K, 2006, Estimating transport properties of mortars using image analysis on backscattered electron images, Cem Concr Res, Vol: 36, Pages: 1556-1566
Wong HS, Head MK, Buenfeld NR, 2006, Characterising the pore structure of cement-based materials using backscattered electron and confocal microscopy, 16th European Conference on Fracture
Wong HS, Buenfeld NR, Head MK, 2005, Estimating transport properties of mortars using image analysis on backscattered electron images, 10th Euroseminar on Microscopy Applied to Building Materials, Publisher: University of Paisley
Head MK, Wong HS, Buenfeld NR, 2005, Characterisation of "Hadley" grains by confocal microscopy, 10th Euroseminar on Microscopy Applied to Building Materials, Publisher: Elsevier Science, Pages: 1483-1489
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