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    The map shows the risk of the topsoil becoming compacted due to the passage of machinery. This map primarily covers the cultivated land in Scotland and provides information on the risk of topsoil compaction.The topsoil compaction risk gives information of the likelihood of the topsoil becoming compacted in 3 classes: High, Moderate or Low. The risk is based on the natural drainage class of the soil and the soil texture.

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    The map shows the vulnerability of subsoils to compaction by traffic. It covers most of Scotland’s cultivated agricultural land area. The subsoil compaction risk gives information on the likelihood of the subsoil becoming compacted due to heavy machinery in four classes (Extremely vulnerable, Very vulnerable, Moderately vulnerable or Not particularly vulnerable) based on the soil texture and the amount of water left in the soil after any excess has drained away (known as field capacity).

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    The map shows the risk of potential pollutants and nutrients leaching through the soil to ground and surface waters. This map primarily covers the cultivated land in Scotland. The soil leaching potential gives information on the likelihood of a potential pollutant that is applied to the soil surface infiltrating the soil and leaching to a water course or ground water in three main categories (High, Intermediate and Low) with the High class being subdivided into 3 classes while the intermediate class is subdivided into 2 classes. Note: soils over current and restored mineral workings and in urban areas that are often disturbed or absent are assumed to have little ability to retain potential pollutants and so are classified as having a high leaching potential (see Lewis, M.A., Lilly, A and J.S. Bell. 2000. Groundwater vulnerability mapping in Scotland: Modifications to classification used in England and Wales. In: Groundwater in the Celtic Regions: Studies in Hard Rock and Quaternary Hydrogeology. Eds. N.S. Robins and B.D.R. Misstear Geological Society Special Publication No. 182. pp 71-79.).

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    The map shows the risk of water flowing overland (runoff) carrying potential pollutants into water courses. This map primarily covers the cultivated land in Scotland. The digital dataset gives information on the likelihood of a potential pollutant applied to the soil surface running off the land to a water course in 3 classes: Low, Moderate or High and is based on fundamental soil characteristics such as depth to a slowly permeable layer, soil porosity and flow pathways through the soil.

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    The Land Capability Classification for Agriculture has as its objective the presentation of detailed information on soil, climate and relief in a form which will be of value to land use planners, agricultural advisers, farmers and others involved in optimising the use of land resources. The classification ranks land on the basis of its potential productivity and cropping flexibility determined by the extent to which its physical characteristics (soil, climate and relief) impose long term restrictions on its agricultural use. THE CLASSES Class 1. Land capable of producing a very wide range of crops with high yields Class 2. Land capable of producing a wide range of crops with yields less high than Class 1. Class 3. Land capable of producing good yields from a moderate range of crops. Class 4. Land capable of producing a narrow range of crops. Class 5. Land suited only to improved grassland and rough grazing. Class 6. Land capable only of use as rough grazing. Class 7. Land of very limited agricultural value. THE DIVISIONS A division is a ranking within a class. As the requirements of the crops suited to Classes 1 and 2 are fairly stringent, land in these classes has inherently low degrees of internal variability and no divisions are present. The requirements of crops grown in the remaining classes are less rigorous, consequently land included is more variable in character.

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    The map shows the risk of a bare soil being eroded by water under intense or prolonged rainfall and primarily covers the cultivated land in Scotland. Soils with mineral topsoils have been classified separately from those with organic (peaty) surface layers. The risk of soil erosion is shown in 3 main classes for soils with mineral topsoils; High, Moderate or Low. The risk of erosion is greatest on coarse textured soils with a low water adsorption capacity on steep slopes. Each main class is divided into 3 subclasses (H1-3, M1-3 and L1-3) with the greater numbers in each risk class indicating a higher risk of erosion due to increases in slope, soil textures becoming more coarse and/or the soils having a lesser ability to absorb rainfall. The risk of soil erosion for soils with organic (peaty) surfaces is also shown in 3 classes; High, Moderate or Low. The Moderate and Low erosion risk classes are divided into subclasses (Mi–iv and Li-iii) with the greater numbers (i-iv) in each risk class indicating a higher risk of erosion due to increases in slope and/or the soils having a lesser ability to absorb rainfall.

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    The main use of the Land Capability Classification for Forestry is as an aid to decision-making at broad planning levels, as a guide for land managers and as a statement of the natural resources of the land of Scotland in terms of forestry potential for educational and general interest purposes. The system is an interpretation derived from several sources and, as with all such approaches, will be subject to some degree of arbitrary decision. Class F1. Land with excellent flexibility for the growth and management of tree crops Class F2. Land with very good flexibility for the growth and management of tree crops Class F3. Land with good flexibility for the growth and management of tree crops Class F4. Land with moderate flexibility for the growth and management of tree crops Class F5. Land with limited flexibility for the growth and management of tree crops Class F6. Land with very limited flexibility for the growth and management of tree crops Class F7. Land unsuitable for producing tree crops Please cite as: Soil Survey of Scotland Staff. (1988). Land Capability for Forestry of Scotland at a Scale of 1:250 000. Macaulay Land Use Research Institute, Aberdeen.

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    This service is the digital (vector) version of the Land Capability for Agriculture of Scotland 1:250,000 maps. Refer to the datasets for more information.

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    The National Soils Inventory for Scotland (NSIS1) dataset has been collected using sampling points arranged as a 10 km grid. A wide range of attributes are described, measured and analysed for each site. These range from contextual information describing the surrounding landscape (such as slope and vegetation), down to detailed chemical analyses of each horizon within the soil profile. There are 721 sites in total where soil occurs; where there is no soil at a particular 10 km sampling point, this point has not been included.

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    In order to generate a soil map of Scotland using the WRB soil classification system, the dominant soil taxonomic unit in each 1:250 000 scale soil map units were classified according to the diagnostic criteria laid out in WRB 2007 (IUSS Working Group WRB, 2007) and following the updated procedures for constructing small scale map legends (IUSS Working Group WRB, 2010). As the intention was to produce a map at a notional scale of 1:1 000 000, the soils were classified to the level of the Reference Soil Group and two qualifiers. Boorman, D.B., Hollis, J.M and Lilly, A. 1995. Hydrology of soil types: a hydrologically-based classification of the soils of the United Kingdom. Institute of Hydrology Report No.126. Institute of Hydrology, Wallingford. IUSS Working Group WRB. 2007. World Reference Base for Soil Resources 2006, first update 2007. World Soil Resources Reports No. 103. FAO, Rome. IUSS Working Group WRB. 2010. Addendum to the World Reference Base for Soil Resources: Guidelines for constructing small-scale map legends using the World Reference Base for Soil Resources. FAO, Rome. Soil Survey of Scotland Staff. (1981). Soil maps of Scotland at a scale of 1:250 000. Macaulay Institute for Soil Research, Aberdeen.