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Scotland's Soil Resource - Current State and Threats

DescriptionReport on the current state and threats to Scotland's soil resource
Official Print Publication Date
Website Publication DateSeptember 25, 2006


W. Towers, I.C. Grieve, G. Hudson, C.D. Campbell, A.Lilly, D.A. Davidson, J.R. Bacon, S.J. Langan and D.W. Hopkins
Environmental Research Report 2006/01
ISBN 0 7559 6250 5 (Web only publication)
This document is also available in pdf format (1.9MB)

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

Chapter 1 Introduction
1.1 Why are soils important for Scotland?
1.2 Scotland's soils
1.3 Project aims
1.4 Objectives
1.5 Approach
1.6 Report structure
1.7 Key References

Chapter 2 Loss of soil organic matter
2.1 Summary
2.2 Introduction and Description of Threat
2.3 Policy
2.4 Evidence
2.5 Gaps in data / evidence
2.6 Conclusions
2.7 Key references

Chapter 3 Climate change
3.1 Summary
3.2 Introduction and Description of Threat
3.3 Policy
3.4 Evidence
3.5 Potential impacts of climate change on Scottish soils
3.6 Conclusions

Chapter 4 Loss of Soil Biodiversity
4.1 Summary
4.2 Introduction and Description of Threat
4.3 Policy
4.4 Evidence
4.5 Conclusions
4.6 Key References

Chapter 5 Structural degradation and compaction
5.1 Summary
5.2 Introduction and Description of the Threat
5.3 Policy
5.4 Evidence
5.5 Conclusions
5.6 References

Chapter 6 Soil Erosion
6.1 Summary
6.2 Introduction and Description of Threat
6.3 Policy
6.4 Evidence
6.5 Future trends
6.6 Conclusions
6.7 References

Chapter 7 Soil contamination
7a Soil Contamination by Atmospheric Pollutants
7a.1 Summary
7a.2 Introduction and Description of Threat
7a.3 General Policy Issues
7a.5 Conclusions
7a.7 Further Reading
7 b Soil contamination by pesticides
7b.1 Summary
7b.2 Introduction
7b.3 Policy
7b.4 Evidence
7b.5 Future trends
7b.6 References
7c Anthropogenic Pollution by Heavy Metals
7c.1 Summary
7c.2 Introduction and Description of Threat
7c.3 General Policy Issues
7c.4 Evidence
7c.5 Evidence of threat and damage
7c.6 Conclusions
7c.7 References

Chapter 8 Loss of soil to development and mineral extraction
8.1 Summary
8.2 Introduction and Description of Threat
8.3 Policy
8.4 Evidence
8.5 Conclusions
8.6 References

Chapter 9 Threat to soil as a cultural resource
9.1 Summary
9.2 Introduction and description of threat
9.3 Policy
9.4 Evidence
9.6 Conclusions
9.7 Reference s

Chapter 10 Salinisation

Chapter 11 Discussion and Conclusions
11.1 Summary of main threats to functions of soils in Scotland
11.3 Overall conclusion

Appendices. Quality of Soil Information for Scotland
Appendix A. Soil Sample Data
A1. National Soil Inventory of Scotland.
A2. Representative Soil Profiles of Scotland
A3. Grid or Transect Studies on Soil in Scotland
A4. MASQ: Monitoring and Assessing Soil Quality. Part of CS2000 .
A5. Soil Data in relation to Sludge (Use in Agriculture) Regulations 1989. Sampling and Testing of Soil (Schedule 2, Regulation 3)
A6 Soil Data in relation to Sludge (Use in Agriculture) Regulations 1989. Sampling and testing of Sludge (Schedule 1, Regulation 3)
A7. British Geological Survey Data with sample Metadata page from the BGS website
A8. SNH data list.
A9. Scottish Soil Fertility Information System pre 1996
A10. Scottish Soil Fertility Information System post 1996
A11. Trends in Pollution of Scottish Soils
Appendix B. Soil maps, soil memoirs and soil handbooks.
Soil classification in Scotland
B1. Printed Soil Maps of Scotland at 1:250 000 scale
B2. Soil maps at 1:63 360 or 1:50 000 scale
B3. Soil Memoirs and Handbooks
B4. List of ad hoc soil maps at various scales
B5. Forestry Commission Soil Maps
Appendix C. Quality of Selected Biodiversity Information
C1. British Mycological Society Fungal Records Database
C2. Survey of 'Tooth' (stipitate hydnoid) fungi in native pinewoods.
Appendix D. Digital Soil Map Data
D1. At 1:250 000 scale.
Appendix E. Scoring of relative importance of threats
E2 Detailed scoring of threats


  • Further copies of this report are available on the Scottish Executive website at: www.scotland.gov.uk/publications
  • Any other queries should be addressed to:
    Soil Policy Co-ordination
    Climate Change and Air Division
    Scottish Executive
    Victoria Quay
    EH6 6QQ

    Tele 0131-244-7250

The views expressed in this report are those of the researchers and do not necessarily reflect those of the Scottish Executive Environment and Rural Affairs Department or Scottish Ministers.

© Crown Copyright 2006

Limited extracts from the text may be reproduced provided the source is acknowledged. For more extensive reproduction, please contact the Environmental Research Co-ordination Unit, Scottish Executive, Area 1-J (South), Victoria Quay, Edinburgh, EH6 6QQ.