Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Other 3 x 3h practicals/workshops
Other 4 Hours. Field Work. 1 x 4 hours
Lecture 18 x 1h lectures


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Case Study  To be submitted during the last week of Semester 2  30%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   70%
Supplementary Assessment 2 Hours   Examination plus resubmission of failed coursework or an alternative  100%

Learning Outcomes

Students completing the module should

  • be aware of the range of problems and treatments associated with major examples of degraded or contaminated land
  • appreciate how rehabilitation objectives vary and how this influences choice of reclamation option
  • understand how investigation of engineering and ecological aspects of land rehabilitation may be integrated under realistic conditions.
  • be familiar with issues of sustainable reclamation to a range of afteruses.


The module consists of an integrated series of lectures and field trips covering the main examples of land degradation and contamination resulting from industrial, mining and civil engineering activities. It describes the sources of these environmental problems, their consequences and the scientific basis of reclamation and remediation to sustainable, 'soft' end-uses.


The lecture course begins with a review of the extent of rehabilitation need in the UK, of the varying objectives for differing end use, of approaches to site assessment and investigation, and of differing national approaches to contaminated land issues. It then deals with the problems associated with particular types of land degradation or contamination and provides an understanding of the science underlying their alleviation.

A number of specific topics is then considered. The causes of extreme acidity are investigated and mitigation measures explained. Hazards associated with the behaviour of metals and organic contaminants are described. Engineering and clean-up approaches to alleviating these hazards are then reviewed. Finally, the management of physically degraded and nutrient deficient soils is considered. Rehabilitation to agriculture, amenity and woodland is described in terms of reclamation and subsequent management. The special problems associated with landfill sites and with conservation end-uses are also considered.

A field visit illustrates examples of particular rehabilitation problems or approaches. Workshops use case studies to demonstrate the practical and economic constraints which influence the selection of rehabilitation option.

Reading List

Alexander,M (1994) Biodegradation and bioremediation Academic Press. Primo search Alloway,BJ (1990) Heavy metals in soils Blackie, Glasgow. Primo search Bradshaw,AD & Chadwick,MJ (1980) The restoration of land Blackwell, Oxford. Primo search Cairney,T (1993) Contaminated land.Problems and solutions Blackie Academic & Professional. Primo search Cairney,T (1995) The re-use of contaminated land.A handbook of Risk Assessment Wiley. Primo search Chadwick,MJ & Goodman,GT (1975) The ecology of resource degradation and renewal Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford. Primo search Harris, J.A., Birch, P. & Palmer, J.P. (1996) Land restoration and reclaimation: principles and practice. Primo search Iskandar, I.K. (2001) Environmental restoration of metals-contaminated soils Primo search Richards,IG, Palmer,JP & Barrett,PA (1993) The reclamation of former coal mines and steelworks Elsevier. Primo search Scullion,J (1994) Restoring farmland after coal British Coal, Mansfield. Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 6