ARCHIVE: UK Soil Indicators Consortium

The UK Soil Indicators Consortium is a group of public stakeholders developing a UK set of soil indicators and a soil monitoring scheme.

Monitoring information is required to help policy makers understand the state of the environment and how it is changing, and to understand the pressures placed upon it. The UK Soil Indicators Consortium need the information from monitoring to determine how we are meeting national policy requirements and complying with international laws and agreements for protecting the environment. Additionally, monitoring information will also support the development and implementation of future soil and environmental policy by providing evidence on the state of soils.

Background

The UK Soil Indicators Consortium was formed in 2003 to take forward the output of an earlier project on the 'Identification and development of a set of national indicators for soil quality'.

The project report (Loveland et al) was published in 2002 and set out an initial list of 67 potential indicators that could be used in future soil monitoring. This included some indicators that required further development before they could be used.

Remit

The Consortium will work collectively to:

  • Identify the indicators that should be built into a UK soil monitoring scheme
  • Develop a scheme that meets both multiple national and European requirements
  • Suggest the best mechanisms for funding and undertaking this monitoring

Membership

The members of the UK Soil Indicators Consortium are:

  • Countryside Council for Wales
  • Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs
  • Department of the Environment, Northern Ireland
  • Environment Agency
  • English Heritage
  • Forestry Commission
  • Historic Scotland
  • Joint Nature Conservation Committee
  • Natural England
  • Scottish Natural Heritage
  • Scottish Environment Protection Agency
  • Scottish Executive
  • Scotland and Northern Ireland Forum for Environmental Research
  • Welsh Assembly Government

Objectives

The objectives are:

1. To develop a set of policy relevant and scientifically robust indicators of soil quality that:

  • Cover all of the functions of soil
  • Will pick up significant changes in soil quality in a timely manner
  • Will meet the different requirements of the member organisations (make best use of collected data)
  • Make use of existing research into indicators being supported by the member organisations

2. To develop a UK monitoring scheme that:

  • Will better establish the state of our national soils
  • Can be tailored to available resources and individual organisation needs
  • Will be designed to pick up significant changes in soil quality
  • Builds upon previously funded research on the design of monitoring schemes

Page last modified: 3 April 2009
Page published: 9 March 2005