ARCHIVE: Soil: Access to information

Action 13 of the First Soil Action Plan for England seeks to determine the requirements for soil information across Government:

"Defra will work with other Government Departments and Agencies (including in the Devolved Administrations), the National Soil Resources Institute at Cranfield University (as co-owners of key datasets) and other soil users, to develop and provide better access to information on soils."

The first milestone of this action was to review current soil information arrangements to determine:

  • Whether Government Departments and Agencies perceive a need for soils information and what requirements they have
  • Where soils information is held and whether access is restricted to those who hold it
  • Whether there are gaps between information requirements and soils information available.

This initial project determined that there is a reasonable amount of soils information held within Government, which is largely available to others. However, as expected, information requirements appear to be largely specific to the needs of the particular department or agency.

Insufficient information was provided by departments and agencies for us to be clear on next steps to improve access to information. ADAS were therefore contracted to undertake a follow-on project (August 2005-March 2006) with an aim to improve awareness of what soils information is available within Government and to facilitate data sharing.

One of the outputs of this project was a tool to determine who holds what soils information across UK Government. This tool will be disseminated to all relevant stakeholders.

Following the project we are also developing a strategy to improve access to soils information across Government.

Page last modified: 3 April 2009
Page published 26 February 2004