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Soil strategy report

29/01/2002

A report was published today by researchers at Stirling University on issues associated with the development of a soil protection strategy for Scotland.

Opening the annual meeting of the Soil Biodiversity Research Programme in Stirling, the Deputy Minister for Environment and Rural Development, Allan Wilson said:

"I welcome the recent report commissioned by the Scottish Executive from the Department of Environmental Science here at Stirling University. It is essential that research into the nature of soils is continued.

"This report surveys the whole range of issues relating to soils. It reminds us of the importance of organic soils in Scotland, and the range of soil-related issues from the uplands to the estuaries. It assesses the various threats to soil quality and makes wide-ranging recommendations on how these can be addressed in a co-ordinated way.

"In considering the recommendations we will work closely with other agencies with a particular interest in soil issues, such as SEPA and SNH.."

The University of Stirling recently completed a project for the Scottish Executive in which the wide range of issues and priorities associated with the development of a soil protection strategy for Scotland were investigated. The objective of the project was to identify the past, present and future pressures on the soils of Scotland and the needs of key stakeholders, and to define the principal elements of a soil protection policy for Scotland.

This project addressed the following five key issues:

  • What are the main objectives for developing a Scottish soil protection strategy?
  • What are the primary pressures on soils?
  • What policies and approaches are already in place in Scotland to protect soils?
  • What policies and approaches have been adopted by other countries to protect soils, and to what extent would these be appropriate to Scotland?
  • Who are the key stakeholders? Are there any competing interests? If so, how should these be managed?

This project - which cost £17,293 - was conducted by researchers in the University of Stirling's Department of Environmental Science.

Electronic copies of the report are available from Professor Donald A. Davidson at the University of Stirling.