our story

How it all began…

The formation of The British Society of Soil Science (BSSS) was originally discussed at a meeting of the British Empire Section of the International Society at the Bonnington Hotel, Southampton Row, London on 28 March 1946 and then formally accepted at a meeting on 13 December 1946.


The provisional committee of the Society met at Rothamsted on 7 January 1947 where a set of rules and recommendations were made for submission to the next meeting of the Society on 15 April 1947. At this first Ordinary meeting, held at the London School of Economics (London), 50 people received Dr R.K. Schofield’s  presentation, “A New Approach to Problems of Soil”.


The first meeting of Council took place on 4th June 1947 at the Institute of Archaeology, Regent’s Park, London.


We published the first Journal of Soil Science.


We began producing our second journal Soil Use and Management.


The Journal of Soil Science changed its name to The European Journal of Soil Science.


The Professional Practice Committee set out to define the qualifications, knowledge and skills required by soil scientists. The outcome was our Working with Soil Competency documents.


In 2010, the Society merged with the Institute of Professional Soil Scientists, when we became a registered charity and HRH The Duke of Gloucester KG GCVO became our Patron.


We won the bid to host the World Congress of Soil Science in 2022.


2017 was the 70th anniversary of the Society, and a special BSSS 70th Anniversary Book was produced to mark the occasion.


UN Climate Change Conferences Observer Status granted


Our 75th anniversary was marked throughout 2022.  BSSS also hosted the World Congress of Soil Science at the SEC in Glasgow.


During our 75 years, we have maintained a strong link with the members we represent, through our Board, Council and Past Presidents. During 2023, we will be working on activities which meet our long-term vision and strategy.


Soils are our past, present and future

The biggest global challenges to do with our climate and the state our planet, have soil at the heart.”

Find out how you can make a difference and be part of our campaign #Grounded.