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Soil maps

Soil maps display the distribution of different soil types across the land based on what you can see in the field. The amount of detail shown on a map depends on its scale. For example, smaller scale maps (e.g. 1:250 000) will show less detail than larger scale maps (e.g. 1:25 000).

On this website, you can access two small-scale national maps - the 1:250 000 National Soil Map of Scotland and Scotland’s soils classified according to the World Reference Base (WRB). More detailed 1:25 000 maps are also available for much of Scotland’s cultivated agricultural soils and the adjacent uplands.

soil sampling

These maps are interactive.  You can zoom in and out and click on points on the maps to find out which soils occur there.  When you click on a location, a table of properties for the typical soil type found there will appear below the map. 

The 1:250 000 soil map is accompanied by a series of handbooks known as Memoirs. These describe in more detail the soil types, soil properties and land uses found across the country.

For more information, see the 2015 article 'Mapping Scotland's Soil Resources' (published by the Society of Cartographers Bulletin Vol. 48).