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Managing Scotland’s soils

Soils are a vital part of Scotland’s economy, environment and heritage, which we can all help to safeguard.

A better understanding and appreciation of soil roles and values is the first step towards better management of our soil resources.

Soils cover most of the natural world and are the foundation of all ecosystems and services on land. They support key processes in biomass production and mass exchange with atmospheric and hydrological systems.

It’s hard to put a financial value on the direct contribution that healthy soils make to our economy. But the sustainable management of soils – and their ongoing ability to deliver varied environmental and ecological services – is vital to achieving sustainable economic growth.

How we manage Scotland’s soils must take into account issues of productivity as well as conservation and environmental quality.

What you can do to help

Sustainable use of soils isn’t just down to those who have direct responsibility to manage the land and conservationists. It can be everyone’s responsibility.

Scotland’s soils are an important natural resource. They play a vital part in all of our lives, by providing us with a wide range of benefits. Some of these benefits are obvious such as enabling us to grow food. Many others are less clear, like soil’s ability to filter water, reduce flood risk and influence climate.

Visit the Scotland’s soils website for data on Scotland’s soils and to explore what soils do for us, how well they do it, and what happens when they’re damaged.

Find out more

Planning and development: soils