In February, staff from the CSGN Support Unit attended a seminar on The Scottish Soils Database and Website project. This is the development of a pilot national website for soils supported by a database holding data from a range of sources. It is intended that the database be populated with relevant data and information on soils in Scotland held by stakeholders including the James Hutton Institute (JHI), SEPA, SNH, FCS, and others where identified. It is anticipated that the SSDW will eventually constitute a daughter soils website within the SEWeb resource.

The database and website is being developed in response to actions identified in the Scottish Soils Framework and Environmental Monitoring Strategy for Soils. The intention is to collate existing soils data from disparate sources and make it freely available to view and analyse through the SEWeb resource. Once operational, new data gathered through monitoring processes and other research will be included. The website will also contain more generalised information about soils on topics such as key aspects of Scottish soils, their importance, what benefits soils provide, policies that relate to soils, are they under threat and, if so, what can be done about it?

The website is undergoing a pilot phase, during which experts and users of soils data, and data management in general will be able to input into the design and information available . It is anticipated that the full version of the website will be finalised and go live in early 2014.