The National Soil Inventory of Scotland (1978–88)

The National Soil Inventory of Scotland (1978–88) was implemented to provide statistical summaries of environmental, soil morphological and analytical data for Scottish soils.

The inventory was based on a systematic sampling scheme aligned with the Ordnance Survey national grid. The soil profiles found at each the 10 km grid intersects were described and the major soil horizons in the profile were sampled for analysis of a wide range of chemical and physical properties and, at a later date, the surface samples were analysed for a range of heavy metals. The sample frame comprised 787 locations at the 10 km spacing. Some sites were rejected during the sampling programme as they either fell on land owned by the Ministry of Defence or were found to lie below high water mark. Additionally, some sites in Orkney were not completed, giving rise to a total number of NSIS profiles of 721.


Lilly A, Bell J S, Hudson G, Nolan A J and Towers W (compilers).  2010.  National Soil Inventory of Scotland (1978–1988): Site location, sampling and profile description protocols. (NSIS_1).  Technical Bulletin, Macaulay Institute.

These data are delivered under the terms of the Open Government Licence, subject to the following acknowledgement accompanying the reproduced James Hutton Institute materials: "Contains James Hutton Institute materials © [year]".

The National Soil Inventory of Scotland

Map legend

Dominant soil
Title The National Soil Inventory of Scotland (1978–88)
Source The James Hutton Institute
Scale(s) Point data at 10 km spacing
Coverage All Scotland
Format GIS point data
Price Data can be downloaded for free under an Open Data licence from Scotland's soils website. A free WMS service is also available.
Uses Local to national level use
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