June 23, 2022, 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

An introduction to soil identification for foresters

Dr Andy Moffat's perennially popular introduction to forest soils, which combines classroom theory and outdoor practical sessions. This course is being delivered by the RFS in partnership with the South Downs National Park Authority and the Forestry Commission. FULLY BOOKED

Main conference room, Alice Holt Research Station, Alice Holt Lodge, Farnham, Surrey, GU10 4LH


PLEASE NOTE – ticket holders for the original date in 2021 have guaranteed places on this course.  If you hold a ticket from the original 2021 course and the new date of 23 June 2022 is not convenient, please get in touch with us at events@rfs.org.uk and we will refund your ticket in full.

Course tutor – Dr Andy Moffat

This course will enable delegates to:

  • Understand the importance of soil recognition in forest management; understand how to use published geological and soil information to help in soil type identification
  • Learn how to approach soil investigation in the forest or field, and gain some practical experience in doing so
  • Understand the principles behind the Forestry Commission Ecological Site Classification (ESC) System, and how to input appropriate data into it, and understand how to predict tree species suitability using ESC, taking climate change into account.

The course consists of a mix of classroom theory sessions and outdoor practical sessions at nearby Alice Holt Research Station.  Please wear suitable outdoor footwear and bring waterproofs in case of wet weather.

Included in the price is a copy of the Forestry Commission Field Guide entitled ‘The identification of soils for forest management’.  Tea and coffee will be provided but delegates are advised to bring a packed lunch as lunch is not provided.

Price: £125.00 (inc VAT) for RFS members / £150.00 for non RFS members

This course is being delivered in partnership with the South Downs National Park Authority and the Forestry Commission.

The South Downs National Park is the third largest National Park in England and has the largest National Park population, with 117,000 residents. From rolling hills to bustling market towns, the South Downs National Park’s landscapes cover 1,627km2 of breathtaking views, including 18 distinctive landscapes, 13 European wildlife sites and more woodland than any other National Park in England or Wales. The South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA) is responsible for keeping the South Downs a special place, including conserving and enhancing the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the area. It is also the planning authority for the National Park. The Authority is a public body, funded by government, and run by a Board of 27 Members.

The Forestry Commission increases the value of woodlands to society and the environment.  It is the government department responsible for protecting, expanding and promoting the sustainable management of woodlands. It works with two agencies – Forestry England, who manage the manage the Public Forest Estate, and Forest Research, the UK’s principal organisation for forestry and tree-related research.

Dr Andy Moffat

Research Fellow, Forest Research

Andy Moffat is both a Fellow of the British Society of Soil Science and a Member of the Institute of Chartered Foresters, and holds a degree in Geography and Soil Science. He started his career as a Soil Surveyor for the Soil Survey of England and Wales before taking up a position as Soil Scientist at the Forestry Commission Alice Holt Research Station. He was the author of the first Forestry Commission Soil Guidelines, and has written many other books, papers and articles about forest soils. He recently helped to assess FC publications for their suitability to underpin the most recent UKFS Soil Guidelines. Andy has run a successful course on ‘Soils for Arboriculturists’ for the Arboricultural Association since 2016.