2024 Award Winner’s Spotlight: Climate and Nature Action 2030 Award

Dr Bruce Lascelles CEnv MCIEEM

This award was sponsored by:

Dr Bruce Lascelles has dedicated his career to highlighting the often overlooked yet vital role of soil in biodiversity conservation and climate change mitigation. Over his three decades in the field, he has become a prominent figure in advocating for soil’s importance at local, national and international levels. Through extensive training courses and presentations, Bruce has shared his knowledge with environmental professionals, emphasising the critical link between soil health, biodiversity, and climate resilience.

His involvement with organisations like CIEEM, CIRIA, Cranfield University, and others has allowed him to contribute to the development of guidance and policies aimed at addressing climate and biodiversity crises. As the current chair of the CIRIA Soil Community of Practice, Bruce has played a key role in producing guidance for the construction industry, ensuring that soil considerations are integrated into development projects. He is also a founding member of the Technical Advisory Group supporting Defra in the update to the Construction Code of Practice for the sustainable Use of Soils on Construction Sites and is leading on the development of guidance around soils and habitat creation, restoration and translocation as part of the CIEEM Ecological Restoration and Habitat Creation Special Interest Group.

During his presidency at the British Society of Soil Science (BSSS), Bruce focused on fostering collaboration between the soil community and other stakeholders, particularly ecologists. He aimed to broaden the understanding of natural and social capital and increase the visibility of scientific outputs related to soil health. Through initiatives like science and guidance notes, Bruce sought to engage audiences across different sectors and age groups, including the education sector.

Bruce’s impact extends beyond organisational involvement. He actively participates in conferences, panels, and podcasts to share his expertise. For instance, he spoke at the AquaConSoils conference, participated in panel discussions at Cambridge University, and contributed to podcasts such as the CIEEM Nature in a Nutshell podcast. Additionally, Bruce supported the development of the Soil Charter, which was showcased at the World Congress of Soil Science, further highlighting the importance of soil management.

Bruce’s commitment to promoting soil awareness extends to public outreach activities. He helped to deliver the World Congress of Soil Science, featuring scientific content alongside public engagement events such as soil and art displays and workshops. Through these initiatives, over 7,000 children and families engaged with soil-related activities, highlighting the importance of soil education and awareness.

Furthermore, Bruce actively reports from COP meetings, providing insights into discussions related to climate and biodiversity crises. He utilises platforms like LinkedIn to share reflections and insights gained from these meetings, contributing to broader discussions on environmental issues.
In addition to his advocacy work, Bruce has established and leads a consultancy team in Arcadis focused on sustainable land management. With a growing team of experts, Bruce ensures that soil considerations are integrated throughout project phases, from design to implementation and monitoring. His collaborative approach has led to successful project deliveries, even in highly sensitive habitats and designated landscapes.

Bruce’s multimedia projects, including helping to develop YouTube videos and short films like “#Grounded,” which emphasise the critical role of soils in carbon sequestration, climate resilience, and biodiversity conservation. These projects, along with his presentations and blogs, underscore the importance of integrating soil considerations into nature-based solutions for addressing environmental challenges.

Bruce’s contributions have been invaluable in promoting soil awareness within the
ecological and environmental profession. His dedication to developing innovative techniques and best practice guidance has helped advance soil management efforts, ultimately contributing to broader goals of biodiversity conservation and climate change mitigation.