Scotland’s land is a fundamental asset. We grow food and timber on it; we build our houses and roads on it.

Much of our water filters through and is purified by it; it stores carbon; and it supports a range of habitats and species, some of which are internationally important. Wetlands are found all over the country, with around 1,600 million tonnes of carbon stored in their peat soil.

Stirling High School - Land

 

By 2013, 18% of Scotland was covered by woodland – an increase from only 4.5% at the beginning of the 20th century. As a result of human influence and climate change, no woodlands in Scotland can be considered truly natural. Likewise, most of the uplands have been modified through grazing, drainage, forest planting and deposition of pollutants from the atmosphere, and near-natural habitats are now rare.

Data

What has happened to bird populations on farmland over the past 20 years?

These graphs show numbers have gone down for these three species? Why do you think that is? Click on the graphs to view a larger version.

Click on the graph to view a larger version.

What is farmland used for in Scotland?

This pie chart show us how much farmland is used for grass, crops, woodland and grazing.

Click on the pie chart image to view a larger version.

What types of crops do we grow in Scotland?

How has this changed over the past 70 years? This graphs shows the changes in wheat, barley and oats.

Click on the graph to view a larger version.

What kinds of animals (livestock) do farmers in Scotland keep?

How has this changed over the past 70 years? This graph shows the difference between cattle, sheep, pigs and poultry.

 

Click on the graph to view a larger version.

Maps

What soil type do you have in your area?

Scotland's soil map - This map shows the main soil types across the whole of Scotland. Do you have different types near you?

Soil Types Map

 

What habitats are in your local area?

Scotland's environment map - This Habitat Map of Scotland (HabMoS) gives details of habitats from woodlands to saltmarshes.

HabMoS Map

 

What species have been recorded in your local area?

NBN Atlas - Use this National Biodiversity Network (NBN) atlas to compare with your own results.

NBN Map

 

Find out if there are wetlands near you.

Scotland's environment map - Wetlands are an important part of Scotland’s environment. Use this with other maps to consider the impact of human activity on the wetlands. (You may need to zoom is for the data to be visible)

Wetland Maps

 

Find out about listed buildings near you.

Scotland's environment map - What impact has this had on the way the urban environment has grown?

Listed Buildings Map

Soil texture and agriculture

 

Scotland's environment map - This map gives a simple overview of soil texture in Scotland. Use this to consider how this affects agriculture in your area.

Soil Texture Map

 

What age are the rocks underneath Scotland?

Scotland's environment map - Use this map to find out about the age of rocks underneath Scotland. How does this affect the built environment in Scotland? How were these rocks formed? What does this tell us about the history of the land?

Bedrock Age Map

 

Find archaeological and historic sites

Pastmap - Use this map to locate details of archaeological and historic sites held in Scotland’s national and local historic environment records.

PastMap

 

Find Scottish Battlefields

Scotland's environment map - Many battles have taken place throughout Scotland’s long history. Use this map to find Scottish battlefields. How did the landscape affect the outcomes of these battles?

 

 

Battlefield Maps

Apps

Visit a Place

This Visit a Place app is your one-stop shop for information on Scotland’s iconic historic attractions. Packed with essential information and beautiful imagery for all Historic Environment Scotland properties.

Visit a Place app - Historic Environment Scotland

iGeology

Carry Britain's rocks in your pocket with this iGeology app a free smartphone app that lets you take over 500 geological maps of Britain wherever you go to discover the landscape beneath your feet.

iGeology app - British Geological Survey

mySoil

This mySoil app gives you access to a comprehensive European soil properties map within a single app. Discover what lies beneath your feet and help us to build a community dataset by submitting your own soil information.

mySoil app - British Geological Survey

Games and Apps

 

A selection of Games and apps to help learning about key conservation issues such as endangered species, climate change and overfishing.

Games and apps - World Wildlife Fund

 

Citizen Science Surveys

PlantTracker

This PlantTracker app allows you to help SEPA and other partner organisations combat the spread of the UK’s most problematic invasive, non-native plant species.

PlantTracker

 

Asian Hornet monitoring

This Asian hornet app allows you to record sightings of this high-risk non-native species which is a predator of various invertebrates including pollinator insects and a threat to native biodiversity.

Asian Hornet monitoring - Centre for Ecology and Hydrology

 

iRecord Butterflies

This iRecord Butterflies app is being used to monitor populations of UK's butterfly species and to see how they fare year to year. Your data will be used to inform conservation efforts to protect our butterflies

iRecord Butterflies - Nature Locator

 

UK Ladybird Survey

Use this UK Ladybird Survey app to help The Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH) and their partners record sightings of different types of ladybird from across the UK. A great app to use with younger children too.

UK Ladybird Survey app - Centre for Ecology and Hydrology

 

Citizen Science apps

These free Citizen Science mobile apps from The Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH) allow volunteers to quickly access information ‘on-the-go’. Using GPS and camera technology embedded in smart phones, these apps allow citizen scientist volunteers to collect verifiable records in the field. These records are used by our scientists to further our understanding of the world around us.

Citizen Science mobile apps - The Centre for Ecology and Hydrology

 

That's Invasive!

That's Invasive app allows you to identify, photograph and record over 35 invasive non-native species commonly found within Europe.

That's Invasive app - Reducing the Impact of Non-Native Species in Europe (RINSE)

 

The Great British Bee Count

Use this Great British Bee Count app to help Friends of the Earth record bee sightings across the British Isles every year. This is a great project for schools and classes from Early Level to Senior Phase.

The Great British Bee Count app - Friends of the Earth

 

Treezilla

This Treezilla app maps all of Britain's trees and records vital data about tree disease and the environmental benefits that trees provide. Help them out by mapping the trees in your school grounds.

Treezilla app

 

Soil and Earthworm Survey

Take part in the OPAL Soil and Earthworm survey to find out more about the soil in your local area and improve knowledge about earthworms and their importance.

Soils and Earthworm Survey - OPAL

 

Tree Survey

The OPAL Tree Health Survey will help you to learn about pests and diseases affecting Britain’s trees.

 

Soils and Earthworm Survey - OPAL

Resources

In partnership with OPAL (Open Air Laboratories), Education Scotland has produced several videos to help you with data sampling, collection and recording.

Earthworms

Watch the video on either Vimeo or YouTube. You can also read the video transcript (word)

Measuring soil pH

Watch the video on either Vimeo or YouTube. You can also read the video transcript (word)

Measuring tree height

Watch the video on either Vimeo or YouTube. You can also read the video transcript (word)

Soil texture

Watch the video on either Vimeo or YouTube. You can also read the video transcript (word)

Sampling stategies

Watch the video on either Vimeo or YouTube. You can also read the video transcript (word)

 

The World Beneath our Feet - Connecting Soils and Curriculum

The World Beneath our Feet (PDF) from Outdoor and Woodland Learning Scotland is an educational pack created to celebrate the 2015 International Year of Soil.

World Beneath our Feet - Outdoor and Woodland Learning Scotland

 

Making the Case for the Environment - Soils

This Making the Case - Soils (PDF) is a good 'reading for information' resource from SEPA.

Making the Case for the Environment - Soils (PDF)

Making the Case for the Environment - Organic Waste and Soils

This Making the Case for the Environment - Organic Waste and Soils (PDF) is a good factsheet from SEPA about organic composting.

Making the Case - Organic Composting

 

Our Soil Matters - Video

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) has produced a series of short videos entitled, ‘Our Soil matters’. The videos feature a range of experts - representing farmers, land managers, ecologists, policy specialists, geo-archaeologists and recreational users - who are passionate about our soil environment. Each participant briefly explains why our soil is important from their own unique perspective.

 

How wild is the land where you live?

This map shows very wild areas in dark green. Do you have lots of woodland and areas that haven’t been changed by humans?

 

Wetlands are a very important habitat for many species

Click on the image below to see a larger version of this wetland habitat.

 

This Land Infographic (PDF) shows some of the impacts, benefits and pressures on Scotland's land.


This page was last updated on 19 Sep 2018

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