Soil Surveys, Environmental Assessment & Land Management

Land Research - Case Study

Soil survey of Scottish Forests

Following a previous soil survey of Radnor Forest by LRA in 2009, Forestry Commission Scotland invited tenders for multiple soil surveys of Commission land, the outputs to be used for detailed forest coupe design and planning. Land Research Associates were awarded the tenders for four FC Districts: Dumfries and Borders, Galloway, Scottish Lowlands and Cowal & Trossachs - a total survey area of more than 6,000 ha.


LRA’s survey team of four experienced soil surveyors tackled challenging terrain and the famed Scottish midges over a six month period, mapping soil types, classifying them using the Commission’s in-house system The Identification of Soils for Forest Management and estimating soil nutrient and soil moisture regimes from soil and vegetation types.

The outputs for each forest comprised:

  • a technical report for each survey area explaining the detail of the main soils found and setting the survey area in context of climate, geology and topography
  • ArcMap shapefiles of soil type polygons, linear and point features

LRA are experts in soil survey for forest management. If you have a similar project you wish to discuss, or have a related enquiry, please contact Mike Palmer on 01509 670570 or