Soils play an essential part in all of our lives. They affect our health, our environment and our economy.
Healthy soils can provide 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 regulating climate.
In contrast, damaged soils can harm crops, pollute water and increase the risk of flooding.
We need to look after our soils to make sure they can provide us with these benefits, both now and in future.
Scotland has a wide variety of different soil types. This is because our soils are created from a wide variety of rocks and sediments by a range of processes controlled by the climate and where the soil sits in the landscape. As a result, Scotland’s soils tend to have more organic matter and be more acidic than soils in the rest of the UK.
Soils are an important natural resource. Healthy soils provide us with a wide range of essential benefits. Ensuring soils are in a good state so that they can deliver these benefits is vital for us, our economy and the wider environment.
Soils provide a wide range of benefits, many of which can be provided by the same soil at the same time. This means we need a range of soil data and information to help us make informed decisions. However, the data and information required to make these decisions doesn't always exist. Soil monitoring can help fill these gaps.
Find out about the key characteristics of the main soil types in Scotland. More detailed information can be found in the Scottish soil classification.
Scotland’s soils provide us with many benefits and we need to protect our soils so that they can continue to provide these benefits in future.
Help us to improve our understanding of soil. There are portals and apps that allow you to find out more about the soil beneath your feet and others that ask you to collect information on your soils.
Links to where you can find out more about soils in Scotland.