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. 

Resources for land managers & developers

Information for agriculture, forestry, planning & development

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World Congress of Soil Science

Scotland's exhibits at the World Congress of Soil Science, Glasgow, 2022

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National soil map of Scotland

National coverage of the main soil types across Scotland

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Soil risk maps

Risk maps show areas of soil at risk of erosion, runoff, leaching and compaction

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Carbon and peatland 2016

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

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Land capability for agriculture

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

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Scotland’s videos

We have a range of videos about environmental issues and how to collect environmental data on our YouTube channel.

The State of Scotland's soils

The State of Scotland's soils

The State of Scotland's soils - a collaborative report published in 2011. This 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 photo library

Our soils photo library

Go to our photo library to view a range of soil related images provided by our partners.


Acidic soil
Soil with a pH of less than 7.

Basin peat

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

Calcareous soils
Relatively thick soils, rich in calcium carbonate.

See our full glossary

Scotland's soils partners

This website relies on the expertise, knowledge, data and information provided by our valued partners.

Part of Scotland’s environment web

Through partnerships and collaborations, Scotland’s environment web is a growing network of interconnected, trusted and authoritative sources of environmental, data and information – find out more