International Year of Soils 2015
The FAO have declared 2015 as International Year of Soils. More details here.
Irish Soils Information System - Phase 1 complete!
The new Irish Soils Information system (Phase 1) was successfully launched by Minister Brendan Howlin at Johnstown Castle, Wexford on Sept 15th, 2014
Find out about the Irish Soils Information System team
The Irish Soils Information System project was undertaken for EPA by scientists from Teagasc and Cranfield University. Find out more about the team here.
Agricultural activities have long been recognised as being a shaper of the rural landscape and environment which exist in Ireland today. Historically, farmers have engaged in protection of the land out of necessity to maintain their production capacity through generations. Our knowledge and appreciation of soils is continually growing however. The role of soils and the key functions they provide is increasingly being recognised and there is a new impetus from all soil users for enchanced protection of a key natural resource. This is reflected in recent times by the way in which environmental protection must be implemented at increasingly more local levels: we have now entered a new era where the maintenance of environmental sustainability is supported by legislation at a global, European scale and national level.
Critical to the successful management of our soil resource is knowledge on the location of our soils, and their associated properties. The Irish Soil Information System project has gathered together existing information and data from previous soil survey work in Ireland and augmented it with a new field campaign, leading to the production of a new national soil map at a scale of 1:250,000, as well as a collection of tools to access and interact with the data.
An extensive range of soil types (or ‘series’) have been identified in Ireland, each of them different in properties, with different environmental and agronomic responses. For each, the properties have been recorded in a database that can now be used to satisfy the information required both for soils management and effective policy implementation. Importantly the database can also be used to provide the public with the means to enquire and learn about the precious soil resources of Ireland. This website provides a series of tools and descriptive information seeking to help all users enagage with the soils information resource now available to us.