You are viewing a NatureMetrics Sampling Protocol Document. Go back to main site.


Advice Note

Return to view all protocols

The following guidance applies to anyone sending soil samples to the United Kingdom from all other countries, excluding EU member states, Liechtenstein and Switzerland.

Kit Contents

Vampire Pump

This can be hired from NatureMetrics.
vampire pump pump head (A)

1 x pump head (A)

vampire pump drive unit

1 x drive unit (B)


Our logistics team will arrange the transport of samples using a courier service and will provide a full quote prior to shipping.

To book your sample return, visit our customer support desk here.

Samples should be addressed to:

NatureMetrics, Sample Reception, 1 Occam Court, Surrey Research Park, Guildford, Surrey, GU2 7HJ, United Kingdom


The appropriate labels and documents for your shipment will be emailed to you by NatureMetrics.

  • Samples must be sent within three layers of containment, at least one of which should be shatterproof.
  • For cold storage kits this will be snaplock sample bags, each within a 95 kPA certified specimen safety bag, all contained within a cool box.
  • For kits with preservation buffer this will be red lidded plastic sample pots, each within a 95 kPA certified specimen safety bag with absorbent sheet, all contained within a sturdy cardboard box.
  • Two copies of the DEFRA Letter of Authority (LoA) and a completed NatureMetrics sample manifest should be printed per package being sent, with one to be put in a pouch (provided) and attached to the outer package and one to be included inside the box
  • Five copies of the shipping invoice must be printed, put inside a separate pouch (provided) and attached to the outside of the shipping box.

Specimen safety bags

  • When preparing samples for shipping, each sample bag or pot should be placed within a provided 95 kPA certified specimen safety bag alongside the absorbent sheet (Figure 1). Follow the instructions on the specimen safety bag to seal. A demonstration can also be viewed in this video.

Figure 1. Single sample from a) cold storage kit and b) preservation buffer kit within a sealed k95 certified specimen safety bag.

Packing samples from cold storage kits

  • Samples shipped from outside the UK are transported in a cold-storage box that keeps samples cool for longer periods of time (Figure 2). We will include a data logger to monitor the temperature of the consignment. Data logger is already started, you just need to place it on the tray as shown in Figure 2.
  • The gel-packs need to be frozen to -20°C for 72 hours to ensure they remain cold during transit. To ensure the gel packs reach -20°C, they must be frozen in an ultra-low temperature industrial-grade freezer (-45°C to -86°C). If access to an industrial freezer is not possible, we recommend using our preservative buffer kits instead. Load the samples and gel-packs into the box as late as possible to prolong the gel-packs effectiveness (must be packed on the day of courier collection).
  • Watch this short video to see how the international cold storage box is packed. Figures 2 and 3 show the steps listed in the video.
  • Place the gel packs in the larger box as shown in Figure 2 diagrams 1-4. Samples must be placed in the smaller box and the data logger added in the top of the tray (diagram 6). Close the box with the samples and place in the larger box lined with gel packs (diagram 7). The final action is to close the flaps and seal the box.

Figure 2. Aeon cold-storage box packing instructions for international shipments.

Figure 3. Breakdown components of the Aeon cold-storage box used for international shipments.

Packing samples from preservation buffer kits

  • After sealing each sample pot within a specimen safety bag, the bags should be packed upright in a sturdy cardboard box (not provided). Any empty space should be appropriately filled with packing material to minimize movement of samples during transit and to protect from impacts (Figure 4).

Figure 4. Specimen safety bags protected by bubble wrap and packed within a cardboard box.

Cookie Consent

By clicking “Accept”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. View our Privacy Policy for more information.