Tim O’Hare, principal soil scientist at BALI Affiliate member Tim O’Hare Associates (TOHA), has issued a warning to contractors and landscape architects regarding the circulation of fake topsoil test reports.
TOHA undertakes routine topsoil testing for a large number of topsoil suppliers and contractors throughout the UK and has recently been made aware that some of their routine Topsoil Test Reports have been copied, altered, and reproduced by a third party, containing false information and/or test results. This practice has potentially costly and damaging implications for clients, landscape architects and contractors.
These reports do not represent an actual source of topsoil and they are now circulating across the landscape industry and being presented to suppliers, contractors, regulators and designers as genuine TOHA reports.
What to look out for:
These fake versions have a number of subtle inconsistencies when compared with bona fide TOHA reports, e.g.:
- No client name
- No date
- No job reference number
- Missing results
- Inconsistent font size/spacing
If you receive a TOHA soil test report and you are unsure of its authenticity, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and the TOHA team will be pleased to confirm whether or not the document is genuine.
TOHA soil reports will always contain the following:
- 2-4 pages of written comment/advice and a test certificate as the last page of the document. TOHA never issue test certificates without a written report so if you just receive the certificate, please request the accompanying report.
- Each page, including the test certificate, will include the Client Name, Date and a unique TOHA reference number.
- All pages will have a watermark of the client’s name.