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Monday 22nd July 2024

Protecting the Nation's Soils


Soil is a key resource for mankind, vital to the environment and for societies across the world. It provides a number of important functions including:

  • A substrate in which to grow food and fibre
  • Transforming and recycling of wastes and pollutants
  • Sustaining biodiversity

The quality of soil – its ability to provide the functions described above – depends on many different processes that reflect biological, physical and chemical interactions.

Understanding how soils carry out its functions is imperative if we are to maintain soil quality to meet the needs of society.

Our understanding of these processes will help inform the development of management techniques capable of maintaining and improving the condition of soil for current and future needs.

Research Information

Expected Outcomes

  • Status reports on quality and trends in Scotland’s soil resource
  • Improved understanding of cycling of greenhouse gases and feedbacks to drivers of climate change
  • New tools and methods to assess soil quality, including its biodiversity
  • Maps showing which soils are under threat and highlight socio-economic implications


Dr Colin Campbell, Macaulay Institute.


Risk-based methodologies to assess soil quality:
Work package 3.2

Management of soils to enhance function and value:
Work package 3.3

Soils - first slide

Slide show as 32MB pps