This introduction to soils information is an interactive powerpoint, podcast and printable resource suite of e learning material. They have been designed to link with the Higher Geography curriculum as an e learning tool.
It illustrates the importance of the sustainable use of soils, one of our most valuable natural resources.
They were produced by Lorna Dawson and Willie Towers of MLURI, with Dr Kyrsten Black and Dr Geoff Armstrong of SAC. These organisations are two of the main research providers for the Scottish Government.
- 'The Soil Beneath Your Feet' - an introduction to soil formation (3MB pdf)
- Higher Geography Resources - in collaboration with Learning and Teaching Scotland.
The Biosphere: Soils and Succession consists of four PowerPoint presentations which have been written to meet the requirements of the Higher Geography curriculum. It is designed to be used as a teaching aid in the classroom, in conjunction with a computer and a digital projector. It can also be used by students for individual study.
- An introduction to soils, soil formation and terminology (2MB pdf, 8MB pps)
- Soils and their main characteristics (3MB pdf, 16MB pps)
- Dune succession (3MB pdf, 4MB pps)
- Moorland succession (3MB pdf, 10MB pps)
The Biosphere: Soils and Succession has been developed in association with Liz Crisp, St Margaret’s School for Girls, Aberdeen and Val Vannet, High School of Dundee, The Macaulay Land Use Research Institute and Learning and Teaching Scotland.
The copyright in this resource is jointly held by The Macaulay Land Use Research Institute and Learning and Teaching Scotland 2008.
All parts of this resource are protected by copyright and must not be reproduced without permission of the Macaulay Land Use Research Institute and Learning and Teaching Scotland.
Acknowledgements: Scottish Qualifications Authority
The Biosphere: Soils and Succession is also available on-line at
For further information, please contact Lorna Dawson
- Introducing Soils - the communication of soil knowledge is no easy task, but these posters are designed to explain some of this background knowledge, particularly for use by senior school pupils.
- Exploring Scotland - an introduction to Scotland's soils and landscape.
- The Machair - this resource has been designed to fit with the Rural Land Resources section of the Higer Geography Curriculum.
- Trends in Pollution of Scottish Soils
We also have a page showing the "Dirt Doctor" soil exhibits used at various recent exhibitions
Digging for Evidence - podcast from The Macaulay Land Use Research Institute's Lorna Dawson on using soil in criminal forensics.
This CD; ‘Introduction to Soils’ is part of a distance learning course being developed with Kyrsten Black and Margaret King at SAC . We are currently expanding the material to cover information about the main soil types and vegetation found in Scotland.
- The British Society of Soil Sciences (BSSS) have educational resources you may wish to see.
- A major soils exhibition at the Smithsonian.
- Soil atlas of Europe
The Soil Atlas of Europe can be downloaded for free. The user has to download each page separately (128 pages in total). The PDF versions provide a better quality version compared with the JPEG files. There are 20 plates of maps which are included as 2-page PDF files, pages 40-79. User may navigate and select the files to download either by browsing the whole Atlas or by selecting one of the sections in the Contents. Each Page has a Title and belongs to one of the 7 sections of the Atlas (Introduction, The Soil of Europe, Soil Maps of Europe, European Soil: A Global perspective, A Soil Database of Europe, Key threats to soil in Europe , Additional Information).
Updated: 24 Apr 2013, Content by: MC