Back to top

Welcome to Scotland's Soils

Welcome to Scotland's soils

Scotland’s soils are an important natural resource. They play an essential part in all of our lives, providing us with a wide range of benefits. Some of these benefits are obvious, like growing food, while many are less clear, like filtering water, reducing flood risk and influencing climate.

This website provides data and information on Scotland’s soils. You can look at a range of maps and download the data associated with these maps. We also point to other useful sources of data and information. You can find out about what soils do for us, how well they do it and what happens when they are damaged. 

Scotland's environment websites

Scotland's environment
For the state of Scotland's environment

Scotland's aquaculture
Data about the aquaculture industry in Scotland

Scotland's noise
View maps of noise from road, rail, air traffic and industry

NBN Atlas Scotland
Data on plants, animals and habitats in Scotland

National soil map of Scotland

National coverage of the main soil types across Scotland


Find out the lastest news about soil

Carbon and peatland 2016

The distribution of carbon and peatland classes across the whole of Scotland

Land capability for agriculture

Provides information on how well a piece of land could grow crops

Resources for land managers & developers

Information for agriculture, forestry, planners & developers

Resources for teachers

Information for teachers about soil

Soil erosion citizen science portal

Soil erosion citizen science portal

Helping to improve our understanding of the UK’s precious soil resource

Help us learn more about soil erosion by telling us where you see it, what you think caused it, and where the eroded soil is now.

The state of Scotland's soils

The state of Scotland's soils

The state of Scotland’s soil report pulls together soil information from a variety of sources.

It looks at the benefits soils provide, the processes that damage soils and the effects that damaged soils can have on people, the economy and the wider environment.

Our soils gallery

Peaty gley - © Copyright The James Hutton Institute Brown earth profile - © Copyright The James Hutton Institute

View our gallery >>


Acidic soil
Soil with a pH of less than 7.

Basin peat
Poorly drained lowland soils with an organic surface layer more than 50 cm thick. Basin peat generally forms at low levels in distinct depressions.

Calcareous soils
Relatively thick soils, rich in calcium carbonate.

See full glossary >>

Scotland's soils partners

Scotland's soils partners

Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA)
The James Hutton Institute
Scottish Natural Heritage
Forestry Commission Scotland
Scottish Government

Find out more about our partners >>