Scottish Soil Discussion Group

Scottish Soil Discussion Group

The Scottish Soils Discussion Group was recently re-formed, and is intended to encourage interest and discussion, and to foster ideas and debate in relation to Scottish soils. We aim to provide a forum for people from science, industry and other interest groups to share ideas and discuss problems.  Our activities include the organisation of events and aiding the flow of soil-related information between and within BSSS and other groups.

Group Chair: Dr Matt Aitkenhead (James Hutton Institute) and Dr Sarah Buckingham (Scotland’s Rural College)

Group Secretary: Dr Jennifer Carfrae (Scotland’s Rural College)

Group Treasurer: Dr Nikki Baggerly

Contact SSDG


Latest posts

Joint meeting in Newcastle on soil spatial data

Dear all,

Just a quick reminder about the meeting at Newcastle's Life Centre on the 22nd of February, on the subject of soil spatial datasets. There are still spaces available, and if you are coming then you are encouraged to bring a relevant poster for the poster competition that will take place during lunchtime.

Further information and registration is available at

The aims of the meeting are:

Looking back on January: An Update from Dan

Hello everyone,

It feels like just a few days ago that I sat down and wrote my New Year’s ReSOILutions. However, a month has passed already! There’s already a fine film of dust over the Christmas baubles and though we gaze out onto frosty mornings with dreams of summer, we realize that Spring – that season of hope and renewal – will be around soon enough. I hope you’ve had a wonderful January.

ClimateXChange Programme Manager

I have been asked to circulate information about the available post of CXC Programme Manager which is being advertised.

ClimateXChange (CXC) is a Scottish Government funded Centre of Expertise, based at the University of Edinburgh, but drawing upon academic resources from across Scotland, and helping bridge the gap between academic knowledge and policy formulation/delivery.

The role of Programme Manager is both challenging and very rewarding, and may be of potential interest to researchers or policy practitioners (see link below for further information)

Spatial datasets for soil in the UK – Scottish Soil Discussion Group (SSDG) and Northern Soil Network (NSN)

Event date: 
Thursday, February 22, 2018
Event venue: 
Life Centre, Times Square, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 4EP, United Kingdom
Event description: 

Event Description:

The Scottish Soils Discussion Group and the Northern Soils Network will be hosting a joint meeting in Newcastle to promote and discuss the range of spatial soils datasets available around the UK, highlighting factors such as licensing and metadata which have an effect on the quality and usefulness of such datasets and the maps and models derived from them.

  • To showcase the range of soil-related datasets currently being used across the UK, particularly relating to modelling, mapping, and visualisation.
  • To provide a forum for people in different organisations to discuss ongoing and future activities (e.g. Digital Soil Mapping) and to develop ideas for future collaboration and research.
  • To increase people’s awareness of differing licensing and metadata issues associated across a range of different organisations.
  • To identify ways in which current work is being used for the benefit of society and in policy development, and how these can be improved in the future.  

3 BASIS CPD points have been awarded to this meeting  - 1 Environment + 2 Personal Development  

The meeting will run from 10am - 4pm at the Life Centre, NewcastleDiscounted parking is available and details will be sent with your joining instructions.

Registration fee includes refreshments and lunch.

BSSS Members -  £15

Non - Members -  £32

ALL delegates MUST register in advance for this meeting as places are limited.



Event flyer: 

BSSS annual meeting on World Soil Day : The 4 per mil initiative

SEESOIL are co-hosting this year's BSSS annual meeting (it is on our patch) on what the ‘4 per 1000’ initiative means for UK soils.
The ‘4 per 1000’ (4 per mil) initiative was launched at the COP21 in 2015, with the aim to slow down the increase in atmospheric concentrations of CO2 by annually increasing global soil organic carbon stocks by 0.4 % per year.
This initiative has sparked a mixed reaction to the feasibility of achieving this, and discussion over what this means for soil management.

Scotland’s Geodiversity Charter Launch and Conference

Event date: 
Thursday, November 16, 2017
Event venue: 
Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Event description: 

Scotland’s Geodiversity Charter sets out a vision: That Scotland’s geodiversity is recognised as an integral and vital part of our environment, economy, heritage and future sustainable development, to be managed appropriately and safeguarded for this and future generations.

The Scottish Geodiversity Forum has worked with partners to revise and update the Charter during 2017, ready for the launch of the renewed Charter at this conference with the support of more than 70 organisations.

The conference is supported by Scottish Natural Heritagethe British Geological Survey, the Edinburgh Geological Society and the Geological Society of Glasgow.

For full detail see 


CPNB 2018: The Dundee Conference - Environmental Management & Crop Production

Event date: 
Tuesday, February 27, 2018 to Wednesday, February 28, 2018
Event venue: 
Apex City Quay Hotel, Dundee Scotland
Event description: 

CPNB 2018 ("The Dundee Conference") will be the foremost Conference concerning environmental management and crop production and associated topics in northern environments. Whilst the long-established Association for Crop Protection in Northern Britain is not changing its name, the change in the title of this year's Conference to Crop PRODUCTION, reflects the wider remit of recent conferences.

The Dundee Conference covers Agri-environmental and Economic Aspects, Combinable Crops, and Potatoes. 

Association for Crop Protection in Northern Britain

CPNB 2018 is organised by The Association for Crop Protection in Northern Britain, a non-profit making Registered Charity which brings together The James Hutton Institute, Scotland's Rural College, Scottish Agricultural Science Agency, SNH and the agricultural trade in Scotland.

There are five sessions of invited papers and research reports with ample time for discussion. There are also two poster sessions. The Conference has been allocated a total of 12 Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points (6 points for each day attended) towards the BASIS Professional Register.

Aims of the Conference

The aim of the Conference is to bring together farmers, agricultural and horticultural advisers, the technical staff of the agricultural chemical trade and all those concerned with recent advances in crop production methods and in chemical and non-chemical crop protection, including advisory, research and government organisations, to discuss crop production and protection problems prevalent in northern environments. In addition to those from Scotland, northern England and Northern Ireland, the Conference will be of relevance to many others in Northern Europe.

Draft programme is available here